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18 Jul, 2023 14:27

Crimean Bridge damage hasn’t affected Russian military potential – White House

NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby has pointed out that Moscow has many alternative routes to supply its troops
Crimean Bridge damage hasn’t affected Russian military potential – White House

The attack on the Crimean Bridge in the early hours of Monday does not appear to have disrupted Russian military supply routes in Ukraine, according to the White House. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Moscow had already stopped using the bridge to move military cargo.

During a press briefing on Monday, the US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, John Kirby, said that officials in Washington “haven’t seen any impact of the strike on the bridge to Russia’s defensive posture and their military capabilities in Crimea or in Southern Ukraine.

He noted that Russian forces continued to actively engage the Ukrainian military, “trying to push back elements of the Ukrainian counteroffensive.

According to Kirby, while it is still too early to predict if and how the attack will affect Moscow’s military capabilities in the long run, it still has “many, many, many other ways of providing logistics and sustainment to their troops in Ukraine.

So, my hunch would be that this won’t have a dramatic effect on – on them,” he said.

Kirby went on to mention that the US was not prepared to attribute the incident to any party. He added, however, that even if Ukraine was behind the blast, it had every right to attack the bridge as “Crimea is Ukraine.

Speaking that same day, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated Washington’s position that the Ukrainian military has carte blanche in terms of choosing its targets.

Russian authorities say two seaborne drones were used in the attack which took out one span of the road section of the bridge.

President Putin denounced the incident as “yet another terrorist attack by the Kiev regime,” and stated that the “Crimean Bridge has long not been used for military transport.

While Ukrainian officials have not claimed responsibility for the attack, they have welcomed it. Several Ukrainian media outlets have reported that the bridge was damaged as the result of a “special operation” by the country’s security services and naval forces.

The structure, which was built in 2018 to connect Crimea to the Russian mainland, was targeted by a truck bombing last October.