Ukraine stresses that it wants to recapture all areas occupied by Russia, including Crimea. According to a Ukrainian general, if Ukraine obtains the necessary weapons, the destruction of the Crimean bridge is “Objective No. 1”.
In its defensive struggle against Russia, Ukraine also sees the important Russian bridge to the Crimean peninsula as a military target. In a kind of threatening gesture, the Ukrainian military intelligence service published an alleged official Russian specification for the bridge with details of the construction on Thursday. The authenticity of the almost 300-page document could not be checked immediately.
The day before, Ukrainian General Dmytro Marchenko had said that if Ukraine got the necessary weapons, the destruction of the bridge would be “Objective No. 1”. Finally, the Russian supplies roll over the bridge to the Crimea and from there to the south of Ukraine. The 18-kilometer bridge across the Kerch Strait, which was built at a cost of billions, has been connecting mainland Russia and the peninsula annexed four years earlier since 2018.
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In Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Peskov emphasized on Thursday that all precautions had been taken to ensure Crimea’s security. The Kremlin is aware of the new threats from Kyiv against the bridge. There had already been threats from Moscow to bomb the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in the event of an attack on the building.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Marchenko’s threat contradicted President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s promises to Western partners. He had pledged not to use long-range weapons to attack Russian territory. However, Ukraine continues to regard Crimea as its territory.
In an interview, the Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Resnikov also linked the hoped-for reconquest of areas with arms deliveries from abroad. “We will liberate all of our territories, really all of them, including Crimea,” he told US broadcaster CNN in Brussels. But first the ongoing Russian attack had to be stopped. Then it’s a matter of driving out Russian troops from the areas conquered since February 24. Third, discussions will be held with partners on how other territories, including Crimea, could be reconquered.
Other Ukrainian military had recently declared it impossible to destroy the bridge because their own troops were too far from the Sea of Azov.
Longtime commander of US troops in Europe, Ben Hodges, is convinced that Russia will launch one last major offensive in Ukraine in late summer. If the west of Ukraine supplies everything possible in terms of weapons, it can successfully defend itself, said the ex-general.
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