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Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
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Ukraine's Terror Attack on Crimean Bridge: What's Known So Far

© Sputnik . Виталий Тимкив / Go to the mediabankSituation near the Crimean Bridge after attack overnight on July 17.
Situation near the Crimean Bridge after attack overnight on July 17. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 17.07.2023
Traffic was suspended on the Crimean Bridge overnight due to an attack committed by Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated on Monday. The roadway of the bridge had sustained damage, while the structures of the spans remained “on their supports," according to the Transport Ministry. Two people died in the incident, and a minor was injured.
The terror attack on the Crimean Bridge overnight on Monday had been preceded by a flurry of attempts to strike the critical infrastructure that has long been an eyesore for the Kiev regime.
Ukraine's authorities made an unsuccessful attempt to hit targets on Russian territory with S-200 anti-aircraft missiles earlier in the month, with the Russian Defense Ministry thwarting the attack.
"On July 9 this year, the Kiev regime made an unsuccessful attempt to strike targets in the Crimea, Rostov and Kaluga regions with S-200 anti-aircraft missiles converted into a strike version in order to destroy ground targets," the ministry said in a statement.
One of the S-200 missiles launched by Kiev was aimed at the Crimean Bridge, while the other flew to a military airfield in the Rostov region, the ministry said.
According to the report by the Russian Aerospace Forces to Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov, four Ukrainian ballistic targets were destroyed on July 9. Two S-200 missiles were destroyed by means of air defense, two more similar missiles were suppressed by means of electronic warfare.
Ukraine's military persisted with more similar attacks later in the month. On the morning of July 16, the regime being used by NATO and its allies to fuel the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine resorted to use of drones. The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed later that its forces had successfully repelled an attempted attack on targets in Crimea and Sevastopol.
In total, two UAVs were shot down overnight and five were suppressed by electronic warfare forces. Two surface drones were also destroyed in the outer roadstead, the Sevastopol governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said on Sunday.

Attack Launched by 'Terror Regime'

As July 17 dawned, Crimean head Sergey Aksenov announced that an emergency had prompted the closure of all traffic on the Crimean Bridge linking the peninsula to the Russian mainland due to the fact that the road part of it had sustained damage. People were urged to avoid traveling via the bridge.
"From the side of the Republic of Crimea, there is damage to the roadway on the spans of the Crimean bridge," the Russian Transport Ministry said on Telegram on Monday morning, adding that the "structures of the spans themselves are on their supports."
Later in the day, Russia's Foreign Ministry issued a statement, saying that the attack on the Crimean Bridge was committed by Kiev. The decision to target the bridge was made by Ukrainian officials, their military, and with the participation of US, and UK Special Services, the ministry added in a statement.
"Today's attack on the Crimean Bridge was committed by the Kiev regime. This regime is a terrorist one and has all the signs of an international organized criminal group," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Telegram.
© Photo Russian Investigative Committee / Go to the mediabankSpecialists work at the scene of Ukrainian terror attack on the Crimean Bridge in a video published by Russia’s Investigative Committee
Specialists work at the scene of Ukrainian terror attack on the Crimean Bridge in a video published by Russia’s Investigative Committee - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 17.07.2023
Specialists work at the scene of Ukrainian terror attack on the Crimean Bridge in a video published by Russia’s Investigative Committee
Overnight, two unmanned surface vehicles had attacked the infrastructure, according to the Russian National Anti-Terrorism Committee.

"At 3:05 [6:05 GMT] two Ukrainian unmanned surface vehicles carried out an attack on the Crimean Bridge. As a result of the terrorist attack, the road part of the Crimean Bridge was damaged, while two adults were killed and one child was injured," the statement said.

Russian investigators are identifying those involved in the organization of the terrorist attack, the committee added. Law enforcement agencies are carrying out the necessary operational and investigative actions.

Civilian Targets Fair Game

A civilian couple who had been driving by car from Stary Oskol, Belgorod region, died in the attack on the Crimean bridge. Their 14-year-old child was wounded. The woman, Natalia Kulik, worked as an education department head in Novy Oskol, a town in Russia’s Belgorod region. The civilian infrastructure of this territory bordering on Ukraine has been regularly targeted by Ukraine’s military, armed with NATO-supplied weaponry.
Locals have described Natalia Kulik as "a person with a kind soul, always helping everyone," while the family was "a loving and close-knit one, with a lovely daughter." Her husband worked as a Kamaz truck driver. Natalia had gone on vacation a week ago, and was greatly looking forward to a trip to the Crimea. They were supposed to travel in two cars with their sister. Now, after Ukraine's terrorist attack that killed both parents, their daughter has been left an orphan.
The child's life is not in danger, she has been admitted to the intensive care unit of Temryuk Central Hospital.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned the terrorist attack on the Crimea Bridge, which is a civilian object.
Underscoring that civilians crossing the bridge in a vehicle, Alexei and Natalia Kulik, had died in the attack, the ministry voiced hope that the global community would display integrity and give proper assessment of this new crime committed by Ukrainian authorities. If the investigation of the Crimean bridge attack reveals Western origins of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) used in the strike, it will confirm complicity of the West, the ministry added.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that Russia has no illusions on the possible involvement of the West in the terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge.
"We know very well how deep the coordination of the Kiev regime and Washington and a number of European capitals is, as well as the North Atlantic Alliance. We know perfectly well how much information comes from the North Atlantic Alliance, from Washington to Kiev on a permanent basis, so we have no illusions here," Peskov told a briefing.
Adding that Russia is aware of the insidious nature of the Kiev regime, the spokesman vowed the Russian authorities would remain vigilant.
"Today, the Kiev regime killed a young family — a girl's parents — the girl was injured. And we need to talk about this so that everyone can hear it. This is all the work of the Kiev regime. And we will all work and remain vigilant," Peskov told reporters.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has received reports concerning the situation with the terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge, the Kremlin spokesman said.
"Putin received reports from Deputy Prime Minister Khusnullin, Federal Security Service (FSB) chief Bortnikov, Transport Minister Saveliev and Head of Crimea Aksenov on the consequences of the terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge," Peskov told a briefing.
He added that Russia's commander-in-chief had instructed to start repair and restoration work on the Crimean Bridge.
The Security Service of Ukraine has implicitly admitted its involvement in organizing the pre-dawn attack on the Crimean Bridge. A spokesperson for the Ukrainian military intelligence department, Andrei Yusov, commented on the incident, quoting the agency's head, Kirill Budanov, who stated that "this structure is unnecessary". A Ukrainian media outlet, citing a source in the Security Service of Ukraine, reported that the terror attack on the Crimean Bridge was a special operation conducted by the Security Service of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Navy, using surface drones.

2022 Attack on Crimean Bridge

Civilian targets have always been fair game for the Kiev regime, and the 19-km long bridge that connects the peninsula to the Russian mainland has been in the crosshairs of Ukraine’s authorities for a long time.
Crimea opted to split off from Ukraine after the February 2014 Euromaidan coup, voting overwhelmingly in a referendum in March 2014 to rejoin Russia. Since then, Ukrainian officials and their allies had made repeated bellicose statements about their desire to target the $3.7 billion piece of Russian infrastructure. The Kiev regime finally acted upon these threats in October 2022.
Russian authorities immediately rushed to set in place a series of measures to repair damage and ensure stable transport ties between Crimea and Krasnodar Territory. Light vehicle and train traffic via the bridge resumed shortly along the undamaged rail portion and the surviving roadway section of the bridge. However, buses and trucks had to temporarily use the emergency ferry service.
At the time, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to step up security for transport crossing through the Kerch Strait, as well as electricity and energy infrastructure in the area. Vladimir Putin called the blast on the Crimean Bridge a terrorist attack aimed at destroying civilian infrastructure.
While Kiev refused to officially take responsibility for the sabotage, its officials had gloated over the attack in Twitter posts, and dropped hints that the attack on the bridge was just "the beginning," with Moscow calling the comments proof of Ukrainian authorities’ “terrorist nature.”
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) stated a week after the attack that the Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate was responsible for the explosion targeting the Crimean Bridge. The FSB also said that “the explosive device was camouflaged in rolls with a construction polyethylene film and was shipped from the [Ukrainian] seaport of Odessa to Bulgaria's Ruse in early August.
According to the FSB, control over the movement of cargo along the entire route and contacts with participants in the criminal scheme had been carried out by a Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate employee
“Five citizens of Russia, as well as three citizens of Ukraine and Armenia, who participated in the preparation of the crime, have been detained”, according to FSB. It added that “all organizers and accomplices, including foreigners, would be held accountable in accordance with Russian law.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated after the attack on the bridge that through its continued terrorist activities, Kiev had put itself on par with the most odious terrorist groups, and vowed to harshly respond to such crimes.
Russia proceeded to launch a series of missile strikes deep into Ukraine in the wake of the bridge attack after confirming Ukrainian special forces’ involvement. The strikes targeted Ukrainian energy infrastructure and military command and communications posts across the country. The Russian President issued a warning, saying that the strikes would be followed up if Ukrainian attacks against Russian infrastructure continued.
Earlier this month, Ukrainian deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar made an admission that Kiev had carried out the attack on the Crimean Bridge in autumn of 2022.
273 days since we struck the first blow on the Crimean Bridge to disrupt the logistics of the Russians,” Malyar had written on Telegram.
"Terrorist regime," was the succinct response from Maria Zakharova, the official spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry.