Ukraine Admits Blowing up Russia’s Bridge to Crimea

  • A Ukrainian official says the bridge to Crimea was targeted last year to disrupt Russian logistics.
  • The bridge was seriously damaged after a truck rigged with explosives blew up while traveling on it.
  • At the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of carrying out a “terrorist act.”

A top Ukrainian defense official marked 500 days of war on Saturday by admitting responsibility for an attack last year that seriously damaged Russia’s bridge to the occupied Crimea Peninsula.

In a post on Telegram, Hanna Maliar, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, wrote that the Kerch Strait Bridge — which opened four years after Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 —  was targeted to disrupt Moscow’s supply lines. She noted that Saturday marks 273 days since the “first strike” on the bridge, which was carried out “in order to break the logistics of the Russians.”

Ukrainian responsibility for the October 2022 attack has been an open secret.

Last fall, The New York Times published an investigation, “How Ukraine Blew Up a Key Russian Bridge,” that detailed how Ukrainian operatives loaded a truck with explosives and blew it up as it was halfway across the bridge, killing four people and seriously damaging the structure in what Russian President Vladimir Putin termed a “terrorist act.”

Although Ukrainian officials did not previously claim responsibility, they did hint at it.

“Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be expelled,” Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, wrote on Twitter last October.

In addition to proving a humiliation for Russian leadership — Putin himself attended the bridge’s opening ceremony in 2018 — the strike impeded Moscow’s efforts to transport supplies to Crimea. Vehicle traffic was only fully restored in February, The Moscow Times reported, with rail service returning in May.

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