Lithuanian diplomat's Crimean Bridge joke draws Russian threats

Crimean Bridge
Crimean Bridge

Former Lithuanian Foreign Minister and current Ambassador to Sweden, Linas Linkevičius, sparked controversy after joking about the destruction of the Crimean bridge in an X post on April 27, prompting threats from Russia.

Linkevičius hinted that the Ukrainian Armed Forces could destroy the illegally built structure.

"If someone hasn't had a chance to take a photo at the Kerch Bridge yet, it's still time," he wrote.

Read also: Pentagon: Ukraine authorized to target Russian forces in Crimea with ATACMS missiles

Russia's First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky threatened the former Lithuanian minister.

Polyansky claims that there will come a "day of judgment" when "servile Baltic swamps" will regret such statements.

SBU attacks on the Crimean Bridge

Ukraine’s SBU security service attacked the Crimean Bridge for the first time on Oct. 8, 2022. After a truck explosion, two half-sections of the road part of the bridge collapsed, and the railroad tracks were also damaged.

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The Kremlin accused the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, of organizing the sabotage in an Oct. 12 statement. For its part, the HUR denied these statements, calling them "nonsense."

Russia claimed that it had completely restored the destroyed part of the bridge as of May 5, 2023. On July 8, 2023, then-Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Hanna Malyar confirmed that Ukraine was behind the explosion on the bridge.

The SBU attacked the Crimean Bridge again on July 7, 2023, using Sea Baby surface drones. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin admitted that one span of the road part of the Crimean Bridge could not be restored.

After Ukraine's successful attacks, the Russian administration additionally fenced the Crimean Bridge with "special anti-sabotage boom barriers" that can allegedly protect the structure from surface and underwater drones.

Read also: Traffic on Russia’s illegal Crimean Bridge suspended after explosions heard in Sevastopol

In February 2024, the Commander of the Ukrainian Navy, Vice Admiral Oleksiy Neyizhpapa, said he was convinced that the Crimean Bridge would be destroyed by the end of the year.

Kyrylo Budanov subsequently hinted that Ukraine would continue to strike at Russian targets in the temporarily occupied Crimea and advised people "against using the bridge."

Ukraine intends to destroy the Crimean Bridge once and for all in the first half of 2024, according to The Guardian.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine