1. Home
  2. international
  3. news
  4. Russia knows Putin's Crimea bridge is 'doomed,' Ukrainian official says

Russia knows Putin's Crimea bridge is 'doomed,' Ukrainian official says

Thibault Spirlet   

Russia knows Putin's Crimea bridge is 'doomed,' Ukrainian official says
  • Russia knows Putin's Crimea bridge is "doomed," a Ukrainian official told The Economist.
  • Dmitry Pletenchuk said Russia is using a new railway because it knows the bridge is in trouble.

Russia knows its Crimea bridge is doomed, which is forcing it to rely on a new railway for its military, according to a Ukrainian official.

Dmitry Pletenchuk, a spokesman for Ukraine's southern military command, made the statement to The Economist on Sunday.

It came after the US supplied long-range ATACMS to Ukraine, putting higher-value targets, including Crimea's Kerch Bridge, in Ukraine's crosshairs.

The new Army Tactical Missile Systems have a range of 300 kilometers.

Russia stopped using the Kerch Bridge, which links Russia to occupied Crimea via rail and road, to transport military hardware sometime between February and mid-April, experts from the open-source intelligence organization Molfar said last month, based on satellite imagery.

Instead, Russia has upgraded a railway route that stretches from the Russian city of Rostov, along the Azov Sea, passing through the occupied Ukrainian cities of Mariupol and Berdiansk, and ending in Crimea, per The Economist.

"The railway along the land corridor is recognition on the part of the Russian occupiers that the Crimean Bridge is doomed," Pletenchuk told the outlet.

"They are looking for a way to hedge their bets because they are aware that sooner or later, they will have a problem," he added.

Long-range ATACMS could be a game changer in Ukraine's quest to retake Crimea, The Economist reported.

Russia illegally annexed the peninsula in 2014.

Ukrainian forces used a long-range ATACMS to devastating effect in an attack that took out more than 100 Russian soldiers in Luhansk last month, according to OSINT and military analysts, showcasing their range and power.

And they have the potential to make Crimea "militarily worthless" to Russia, Philip Karber, a military analyst with expertise on Ukraine, told Radio Free Europe in April.

Ukraine has long threatened to make the Crimea bridge inoperable.

Last October, the UK's Ministry of Defence said that the bridge would be a "significant security burden" for Russia going forward. And Oleksii Neizhpapa, the commander of Ukraine's navy, has pledged to destroy it by the end of this year.

Popular Right Now