Moscow on Saturday announced revenge for what it described as a “terrorist attack” after officials said Ukraine overnight launched a missile attack on a bridge linking Russia to the annexed Crimea peninsula.
Ukraine did not comment on the alleged attack, while the Russian Defense Ministry said S-200 missiles were fired at the bridge but were shot down and caused no damage.
“There is no justification for such barbaric actions and they will not go unanswered,” Defense Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement to Telegram on Saturday.
It is at least the third attack in recent months on the 12-mile Kerch Bridge, which Russian President Vladimir Putin opened to great acclaim in 2018. The important bridge enables all rail and road traffic between Russia and Crimea and serves as an important supply route for Moscow troops occupying areas in southern Ukraine.
The missiles that Russia claimed were fired at the bridge were Cold War-era guided missiles originally designed to attack aircraft, although they have now been modified to attack other infrastructure were reported last month by the Ukrainian website Euromaidan Press.
In addition to the attempted missile attack, Russia says it also shot down 20 Ukrainian drones near the peninsula.
The incident was the latest attempt to damage the bridge after it was hit by explosives last month that killed two people.
Russia promised retaliation as Ukraine’s counter-offensive launched in June makes “significant” progress, sources say The Institute for War Research.
Ukrainian forces have forced the Russian military to deploy troops to defend western Zaporizhia Oblast, suggesting that Russia’s defenses “could be significantly weaker,” the Washington-based think tank said in an assessment of the fighting released late Friday.
The Security Service of Ukraine also released a video showing a drone strike destroying a “rare” Russian Terminator 2 tank support vehicle. However, the agency did not specify where or when the footage was captured.
The clip shows footage of the drone dive-bombing the vehicle, and then another “kamikaze” drone hitting a tank that was attempting to tow the first vehicle.
“Military counterintelligence officers of the SBU orchestrated a sinking for the Russian BMPT analogue ‘Terminator-2,'” the agency wrote in one post on twitter share the clip. “This rare copy of enemy defenses was burned by just a few hits from kamikaze drones. They tried to get the downed ‘Terminator’ out with a T-80 tank, but it got hit too!”
As the Ukrainian push continues to retake territory, Russia is bombing regions across the country.
A 73-year-old woman was killed in shelling in the Kharkiv region on Saturday, and a police officer died in a bomb attack in the town of Zaporizhia, which was heavily bombed by Russian forces.
Denise Brown, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, condemned the ongoing attack in Zaporizhia, where rockets hit a hotel on the Dnipro River on Thursday that usually houses UN staff and other humanitarian workers, a source said statement published on the website UN website.
“I am appalled by the news that a hotel frequently used by United Nations staff and our colleagues from NGOs supporting people affected by the war has recently been hit by a Russian attack in Zaporizhia,” Brown wrote. “That’s totally unacceptable.”
And as the war rages on, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday dismissed all heads of the country’s regional army recruiting centers after he said an investigation had revealed widespread corruption, including officials who took bribes and wartime able-bodied men over the border would have a ban on doing so and other corrupt practices, Al Jazeera reported.
Zelenskyy said 112 criminal offenses had been opened against officers of the convening committee.
“This system should be run by people who know exactly what war is and why cynicism and bribery in war are treason,” he said, adding that those who were fired would be replaced by war veterans and wounded soldiers.
With post wires.