Russians lack alternative to Crimean Bridge for supply route

Crimean Bridge
Crimean Bridge

Russian soldiers have no alternative to the Crimean Bridge for supplying their troops in Russian-occupied Crimea, Dmytro Pletenchuk, head of the Strategic Communications Center of the Defense Forces of Southern Ukraine, said on Radio Svoboda on June 5.

The bridge handles less than a quarter of the logistical burden, pushing Russia to find alternatives. However, the railway being built along the northern coast of the Sea of Azov in occupied southern Ukraine remains incomplete. Sea-based military logistics are also off-limits, as the Russians fear deploying ships into the Black Sea.

"They decided that ferries will suffice, which were forgotten when the Crimean Bridge was opened," Pletenchuk said. "It turns out that the main military logistics previously relied on ferries. Now, it doesn't."

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Airfields are another option, but air logistics are less voluminous and far more expensive.

"Remember, there was once a project in their info space for an underground tunnel from Russia to Crimea," Pletenchuk said. "Now is the right moment to start building it because they might not have any other more or less safe ways to reach Crimea."

Only a limited circle of people knows the timeline for destroying the Crimean Bridge, he said. Such structures are quite complex to target.

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Ukraine's attacks on the Crimean Bridge

Ukraine’s SBU Security Service first attacked the Crimean Bridge 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 regime later accused Kyrylo Budanov, head of the Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, of organizing the sabotage. Military intelligence denied these statements, calling them "nonsense."

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

Read also: Russian military installs ten boom barriers on Crimean Bridge to thwart Ukrainian drones

The SBU attacked the Crimean Bridge again on July 17, 2023, using Sea Baby 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 occupation authorities additionally fenced the Crimean Bridge with "special anti-sabotage boom barriers" that can allegedly protect the structure from surface and underwater drones.

In February 2024, 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.

Subsequently, spymaster Budanov hinted that Ukraine would continue to strike Russian targets in temporarily occupied Crimea and advised civilians "not to use the bridge."

In March, the head of Ukraine’s Security Service, Lieutenant General Vasyl Malyuk, said Ukraine had the potential to completely destroy the Crimean Bridge, but “all in good time.”

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine