Russia-held bridge ‘unusable’ after Ukraine strike: Pro-Kremlin official

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A Russian-held bridge that connects southern Ukraine to the annexed Crimean peninsula has been badly damaged and is “unusable” at present, a Moscow-installed official said on Friday.

“It is unusable for movement,” said Vladimir Saldo, the Moscow-installed governor of the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson, adding that the Chongar bridge would be closed to traffic for around 20 days.

“The bridge sustained more damage than we initially thought,” Saldo said in televised remarks, adding repairs were underway.

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On Thursday, Russian officials said that a Ukrainian strike damaged a bridge that connects Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, to a part of the Ukrainian region of Kherson that is partly held by Moscow.

Saldo earlier said that Ukraine had used British-supplied Storm Shadow cruise missiles to strike the bridge.

Moscow last year blamed Ukraine for a blast on the main bridge connecting Crimea to the Russian mainland.

Fighting has increased in occupied parts of Ukraine’s south and east with the start of Kyiv’s counteroffensive, including strikes far behind enemy lines.

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