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Ukraine's Intelligence prepares another attack on Crimean bridge, its destruction is "inevitable" — The Guardian

3 April, 2024 Wednesday
15:30

The Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine states that the destruction of the Crimean bridge is "inevitable", the next strike on it may take place in the first half of 2024

The Guardian writes about this, citing sources in the Ukrainian Intelligence Service. 

Senior officials from Ukraine’s HUR military intelligence service indicate it is plotting a third attempt on the bridge and claim that its destruction is "inevitable." The newspaper points out that it is unknown how the Ukrainian attack will unfold, however, "there are serious doubts about whether the HUR is capable of pulling off a special operation against such a well-defended and obvious target," given that Russia is taking measures to protect the bridge. 

One of the officials told The Guardian that the HUR believes it can disable the bridge in the near future. 

"We will do it in the first half of 2024," he said, adding that HUR chief Kyrylo Budanov already has "most of the means to carry out this goal." 

"If the bridge were permanently compromised, Moscow would be forced to transport military supplies by road through occupied southern Ukraine. The route would go via Kherson and Zaporizhzhia provinces, which Russia partly captured in spring 2022. Ukrainian officials believe this would significantly impair the Kremlin’s ability to carry out offensives at a time when its ground forces are advancing," the Guardian writes. 

According to officials, Western weapons would allow Ukraine to destroy the bridge more quickly, but foreign politicians, including German Chancellor Scholz, believe that providing long-range missile systems could lead to a "dangerous escalation." 

The publication reminds that the Crimean bridge has a symbolic meaning for both Ukraine and Russia. For Kyiv, it is a symbol of the illegal annexation of Crimea, and its destruction "would strengthen Ukraine’s campaign to liberate Crimea and raise morale on and off the battlefield." At the same time, for Putin, the bridge is a reminder of what he considers one of his greatest political achievements: The "return" of the peninsula to Russia in 2014 with the use of undercover Russian troops and a sham referendum.

  • On January 6, the head of the Joint Coordination Press Center of the Southern Defense Forces of Ukraine, Natalia Humeniuk, said that the occupation forces are actively trying to protect the Crimean bridge from air and sea attacks.
  • On February 25, Chief of Ukraine's Defense Intelligence Kyrylo Budanov thanked the residents of the temporarily occupied Crimea for their help and advised civilians not to use the Crimean bridge, hinting at "new surprises" for the occupiers in 2024.
  • On March 2, retired British Colonel Glen Grant noted that the destruction of the Crimean Bridge would significantly weaken the capabilities of the Russian troops on the front line.
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