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2 Jul, 2022 07:25

Ukraine reiterates threat against Crimean Bridge

The attack will take place “at the right moment,” Zelensky’s top aide says
Ukraine reiterates threat against Crimean Bridge

Ukraine still has plans to strike the bridge – Europe's longest – connecting the Russian peninsula of Crimea to the nearby Krasnodar Region,  Alexey Arestovich, a top aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, has said.

On Friday, alarming reports emerged of large plumes of while smoke coming from an area near the Crimean Bridge, also known as the Kerch Bridge. But the Crimean authorities later said there was no reason to panic, explaining that Russian police were holding drills near one of the sections of the 19km-long structure.

When asked about those exercises during an interview with activist Mark Feygin on YouTube, Arestovich said the authorities “were right to be preparing.”

“Nobody is being sentimental. If such a need arises, we’ll strike the Crimean Bridge, at the right moment,” he said.

However, the presidential aide acknowledged that the weapons currently possessed by the Ukrainian military were “technically incapable” of reaching the strategic bridge.

“But the time will come and we’ll be able to do it. In this war, there have long been no constraints. It’s only about technical capability,” he insisted.

The Kerch Bridge was built between 2016 and 2018, becoming a symbol of Crimea’s reunification with Russia. During the conflict with Kiev, Moscow has been using it to transport armored vehicles and other military hardware.

Several Ukrainian officials and military commanders have issued warnings over the past four months that the multi-billion-dollar infrastructure could become a target for Kiev’s forces.

Arestovich, who was among those who issued warnings, acknowledged last month that delivering significant damage to the bridge was a tough task, even with weapons of adequate range, as one of its 595 pillars would need to be destroyed. “It’s built in a way that one would need to use tactical nuclear weapons to bring it down,” he claimed.

The Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said in mid-June that Moscow “was aware and took notice” of the Ukrainian threats. The security of the Kerch Bridge and the whole of Crimea was “guaranteed” by preventive measures taken by the Russian Armed Forces, he said.