June 15, 2024

Ukraine’s Zelenskyy says Kerch Bridge to Crimea must be ‘Neutralized’

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the Kerch Bridge in Crimea must be “neutralized.”
  • Zelenskyy said the bridge is a legitimate military target because Russia uses it to “feed the war.”
  • The bridge was opened in 2018 and connects the illegally occupied Crimean peninsula with Russia.

Ukrainian officials are being questioned about Crimea and whether they are responsible for attacks on the bridge linking the strategically important peninsula with Russia.

Opened in 2018, four years after Moscow illegally occupied and annexed Crimea, the Kerch Bridge is about 12 miles long and carries not only cars but rail traffic. Since last year’s full-scale invasion, it has been attacked twice: last October, with a bomb planted inside a truck – an attack for which Ukraine only admitted responsibility this month – and before dawn on Monday, when Russian authorities say it was attacked by a pair of Ukrainian drones.

In remarks to the Ukrainian Security Forum, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaking via video linksaid Friday afternoon that the bridge was a legitimate military target.

He suggested that achieving it is crucial to Ukraine’s own ambitions, including taking back all the land it has occupied since 2014, when a popular uprising ousted the country’s former pro-Moscow president, and led the Kremlin to seize the Crimean peninsula, which is home to Russia’s naval base and provides the country with direct access to the Black Sea.

“The objective is to reclaim all of Crimea because it is our sovereign territory, an inalienable part of our nation,” Zelenskyy said on Friday. “And the Crimean bridge, this is not just a logistics road – this is the road used to feed the war, with ammunition, and this is done on a daily basis.”

Russia has labeled the attacks on the bridge “terrorist” actions. President Vladimir Putin himself described the latest attack as “crime” that killed “innocent civilians,” claiming that the Kerch bridge “has not been used in a military manner for a long time.” In fact, according to the Associated Press, the bridge serves as “critical” link between Moscow and Russian forces operating in southern Ukraine.

Zelenskyy described the bridge on Friday as an “enemy facility” built against international law. “So, understandably, this is our goal,” he said. “Any objective, any goal that is bringing war, not peace, must be neutralized.”

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