UTV

Ukraine hit Crimea-linked bridge with UK-supplied missiles

The attack on the Chonhar Bridge, one of the few lines of communication between Ukraine and Crimea, came two days after Moscow threatened to attack the “decision centers” of Kiev if Ukraine use Western missiles against Crimea, which has been part of the Russian territory since 2014 after a referendum.

Photos and videos published in the news media showed a large opening on the bridge, with debris littering the roads. No casualties were reported.

Vladimir Saldo, the governor of Kherson, suggested that the bridge had been targeted by Storm Shadow missiles, long-range cruise missiles that Britain confirmed it had provided to Ukraine last month.

Russian investigators said four missiles were fired at the bridge by Ukrainian forces. A spokesman for military inspectors said markings found on the remains of one of the missiles indicated it was made in France.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday that the possible use of US-made Himars and Storm Shadow missiles against targets in Crimea shows the West’s full involvement in the conflict and called for an immediate attack on decision-making centers in Ukrainian territory.

The Storm Shadow missiles have a range of more than 250 kilometers (155 miles), according to their manufacturer, the European arms group MBDA, significantly beyond the high-precision Himars missiles, which are heavily used by Ukraine.

Ukrainian authorities have not confirmed the use of Shadow missiles in the attack on the bridge. When questioned on the strike, Andriy Yusov, spokesperson for Ukraine’s defense intelligence, said: “Work is ongoing and will be continued. This is the planned work of the security forces, the defense forces, the resistance movement, and the local population, which is waiting for the return of Ukrainian legal power in these territories. I can only say: to be continued…”

Last week, Volodymyr Zelensky praised the capabilities of the Storm Shadow missiles, saying they would bolster Kiev’s counteroffensive, which he acknowledged was proceeding “slower than desired.”

Ukraine has acknowledged that it has liberated only eight villages as a result of its two-week offensive, saying that heavy mining and Russian air superiority are significant obstacles to progress.

Shoigu said on Thursday that Ukrainian forces in eastern and southern Ukraine would temporarily limit their efforts to retake areas controlled by Moscow.

The bridge is one of several important routes into Ukraine from the Crimean peninsula and is used by the Russian military to move personnel and supplies.

It is also an important link to the city of Melitopol, which lies on the coastal route from the Russian border across southern Ukraine to Crimea.

Earlier on Tuesday, Shoigu had warned of Ukraine’s plans to attack Crimea with long-range American and British missiles.

“The use of these missiles outside the zone of our special military operation would mean that the United States and Britain would be fully dragged into the conflict and would entail immediate strikes on decision-making centers in Ukraine,” Shoigu emphasized.

MNA/PR 

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