Russia vows revenge if Ukraine attacks Crimea Bridge


Ukrainian forces have twice previously attacked the Crimean Bridge.
Ukrainian forces have twice previously attacked the Crimean Bridge.

Russia has warned it will launch a “devastating revenge strike” if Ukraine strikes Crimea or the Crimean Bridge which links southern Russia to the Black Sea peninsula and has been targeted by Ukrainian forces twice before.

Russia said it believed that Ukraine, which has recently taken delivery of long-range ATACM guided missile systems from the United States, was plotting to attack the bridge ahead of or on May 9, the day when Russia marks the Soviet Union’s World War II victory over Nazi Germany.

Russia seized and annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. 

Ukraine has repeatedly said it deems as illegal the construction of the road and rail bridge, which has been used in the past to move troops and weaponry. 

Ukraine says it wants Crimea back.

Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, listed statements and social media posts by officials from Ukraine and European Union member states that she said suggested the bridge was in Ukraine’s sights.

Ukraine’s UN ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya on May 1 posted on X what he called a “2024 list of 6 Main Types of Bridges” with a set of images.

The final image, labelled “Kerch,” the name of the Crimean town at one end of the Crimean Bridge, was left blank, perhaps suggesting it would be destroyed.

Some east European diplomats and officials have posted similar content.

“The Crimean Bridge is once again in the crosshairs,” Zakharova told a news briefing.

“Preparations for an attack on it, which is hard to believe, are now being carried out openly, with ostentatious bravado and with the absolute direct and shameless support of the collective West.

“I would like to warn Washington and Brussels that any aggressive actions against Crimea are not only doomed to fail but will also be met with a devastating revenge strike,” she said.

Zakharova noted that United Kingdom Foreign Secretary David Cameron said on Thursday that Ukraine had the right to use weapons supplied by the UK to hit targets inside Russia, something she said was proof the United States and its allies were waging a hybrid war against Russia.

Crimea was part of the Russian Empire and later of the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic from 1783 till 1954 when Russia gifted it to what was then the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, when both were part of the Soviet Union.

Russia now says that decision was a mistake.

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, which has been repeatedly attacked  by Ukraine, is based in Crimea.

Zakharova on Friday also said Russia was ready to consider “serious” proposals to settle the Ukraine conflict based on existing “realities” and Russian security concerns. 

She added that Ukraine must pledge to remain militarily neutral in future.

The conditions were identical to ones that Ukraine has several times rejected in the past.