A Ukrainian navy drone and a cruise missile attacked a shipyard in the port of Sevastopol, reportedly damaging two Russian warships undergoing repairs, as Russia on Wednesday closed the country’s connection to annexed Crimea. The strategic Kerch Bridge on the Asian peninsula.
The Russian Ministry of Defense stated that Ukraine launched 10 cruise missiles at important naval bases overnight, and the Russian Black Sea Fleet was targeted by three maritime drones. Officials sent by the Kremlin in Crimea said that a fire broke out at a ship repair yard in South Ordzhonikidze, injuring at least 24 people.
Attacks on the Black Sea peninsula have become more frequent in recent months as Kiev launches a counteroffensive to regain occupied territory. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has pledged to reverse Russian President Vladimir Putin’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Ukraine has not yet directly claimed responsibility for the attack, but Ukrainian Air Force Commander Lieutenant General Mykola Oreshchuk seemed to suggest Kiev was involved, writing on his Telegram channel on Wednesday: “While the occupiers are still operating from Recovering from the attack that night, -During a bombing in Sevastopol, I would like to thank the pilots of the Ukrainian Air Force for their excellent combat work! To be continued…”
Shortly after the attack, the Kerch Strait Bridge – which Ukraine had attacked twice before, in October 2022 and July 2023 – was closed to traffic. In August, Kyiv claimed responsibility for both attacks. Zelensky said last month it was a legitimate target because Russia was using it as a military supply route during the 18-month war.
The Telegram channel, which provides updates on the operation of the bridge, said at around 11 o’clock: “Vehicle traffic on the Crimean Bridge is temporarily blocked. People on the bridge and in the inspection area are asked to remain calm and follow the instructions of traffic safety officials.” Currently local time, but did not elaborate on the reason for the closure.
Weekly newspaper The Russian Foreign Ministry was contacted for comment via email.
The Kerch Strait Bridge is an important supply route for the Russian army and the only land connection between Russia and Crimea. It consists of two main parts – a four-lane vehicle road and a railway bridge with two tracks – critical to sustaining Moscow’s military offensive in southern Ukraine.
The bridge has been plagued by closures recently, particularly after the July 17 attacks in Ukraine. It reopened on Tuesday after a brief closure. On September 3, traffic on the bridge was also briefly suspended. The authorities did not give a reason.
The Washington, D.C.-based Institute for War Studies assessed last month that Ukraine’s attack on a key bridge connecting Crimea to southern Ukraine and mainland Russia was affecting Moscow’s ability to mobilize resources. It also affects the Kremlin’s efforts to fend off Kiev’s ongoing counteroffensive to regain territory, the think tank said.
Authorities did not say when the Kerch Bridge would reopen.
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