Ukraine will keep attacking targets in Crimea and Kerch Bridge: Defense chief

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Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Tuesday that Ukraine will keep on launching attacks on Russian-occupied Crimea and the Kerch bridge that connects it to the Russian mainland.

While Russia has pounded the port city of Odesa and the surrounding region during the past week, Ukraine continued to conduct strikes inside Crimea. A Ukrainian drone strike caused on Saturday a massive explosion at an ammunition depot in Crimea, days after Kyiv struck the Kerch bridge, which is a key supply line for Russian forces.

“All these targets are official targets because it will reduce their capacity to fight against us [and] will help to save the lives of Ukrainians,” Reznikov said in an interview with CNN.

Asked if Ukraine’s goal is to permanently disable the bridge, Reznikov responded: “It’s normal tactics to ruin the logistic lines of your enemy to stop the options to get more ammunition, to get more fuel, to get more food, etcetera. That’s why we will use these tactics against them.”

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Asked if Ukraine plans to ramp up attacks against Russian ships in the Black Sea in retaliation, he said, “We have capacity. We have weapons as we did with the cruiser Moskva and if they threaten us in the Black Sea, we’ll have to respond.”

The Russia-built bridge in Crimea, known as the Crimean Bridge or Kerch Strait Bridge, carries significant symbolism for Ukraine as it embodies the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014. Serving as a physical link between the Russian mainland and the annexed Crimean Peninsula, the bridge stands as a constant reminder of the ongoing territorial dispute and heightens tensions between the two nations.

Constructed without Ukraine's consent, the bridge is viewed as a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It represents Russia's assertiveness and disregard for international norms, exacerbating the already strained relationship between the two countries.

Beyond its symbolic implications, the bridge also has practical consequences for Ukraine. It restricts access to the Sea of Azov for Ukrainian ports, hampering maritime traffic and negatively impacting the country's economy and trade capabilities. In essence, the Russia-built bridge in Crimea serves as a tangible manifestation of Russia's annexation of Crimea, exacerbates the divisions between Ukraine and Russia, and poses challenges for Ukraine's maritime access and economic prospects.

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