Russia promises ‘devastating revenge’ if Ukraine attacks Crimean Bridge

Russia promises ‘devastating revenge’ if Ukraine attacks Crimean Bridge
Russia promises ‘devastating revenge’ if Ukraine attacks Crimean Bridge

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - The 19-km Crimea Bridge over the Kerch Strait is the only direct link between the transport network of Russia and the Crimean peninsula. — Reuters pic

MOSCOW, May 3 — Russia warned today it would launch a “devastating revenge strike” if Ukraine, backed by the West, strikes Crimea or the Crimean Bridge which links southern Russia to the Black Sea peninsula and has been targeted by Kyiv twice before.

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Moscow said it believed that Ukraine, which has recently taken delivery of long-range ATACM guided missile systems from the United States, was plotting to attack the bridge ahead of or on May 9, the day when Russia marks the Soviet Union’s World War Two victory over Nazi Germany.

Russia seized and annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Kyiv has repeatedly said it deems as illegal the construction of the road and rail bridge, which has been used in the past to move troops and weaponry. Ukraine says it wants Crimea back.

Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, listed statements and social media posts by officials from Ukraine and European Union member states that she said suggested the bridge was in Kyiv’s sights.

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Ukraine’s UN Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya on May 1 posted on X what he called a “2024 list of 6 Main Types of Bridges” with a set of images.

The final image, labelled “Kerch”, the name of the Crimean town at one end of the Crimean Bridge, was left blank, perhaps suggesting it would be destroyed.

Some East European diplomats and officials have posted similar content.

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“The Crimean Bridge is once again in the crosshairs,” Zakharova told a news briefing.

“Preparations for an attack on it, which is hard to believe, are now being carried out openly, with ostentatious bravado and with the absolute direct and shameless support of the collective West.

“I would like to warn Washington and Brussels that any aggressive actions against Crimea are not only doomed to fail, but will also be met with a devastating revenge strike,” she said.

Zakharova noted that British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said yesterday that Ukraine had the right to use weapons supplied by Britain to hit targets inside Russia, something she said was proof the West was waging a hybrid war against Moscow.

Crimea was part of the Russian Empire and later of the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic from 1783 till 1954 when Moscow gifted it to what was then the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, when both were part of the Soviet Union.

Moscow now says that decision was a mistake.

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, which has been repeatedly attacked by Ukraine, is based in Crimea. — Reuters

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