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Ukraine’s Crimean Bridge Warning Met with Russia’s Promise of ‘Devastating Revenge’

Russian Soldiers (Credits: Asharq Al-Awsat)

Russia issued a stern warning, stating that it would retaliate with a “devastating revenge strike” if Ukraine, supported by Western powers, were to target Crimea or the Crimean Bridge. The bridge connects southern Russia to the Crimean peninsula and has previously been the target of attacks from Kyiv.

Despite concerns that Ukraine, armed with long-range ATACM guided missile systems from the United States, may be planning an assault on the bridge, Moscow has raised alarms. This apprehension is particularly heightened as May 9 approaches, a day in Russia commemorating the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two.

Crimea bridge (Credits: Reuters)

Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, tensions over the construction of the Crimean Bridge have persisted. Kyiv views the bridge’s development as illegal, considering Crimea as part of its territory and aspiring to reclaim it.

Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, highlighted statements and social media posts from Ukrainian and EU officials, suggesting a potential threat to the bridge. Ukrainian UN Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya’s recent post on X, depicting a list of bridge types with the final one labeled “Kerch” (the Crimean Bridge’s endpoint), raised concerns.

Crimean Bridge after attack (Credits: Newsweek)

Zakharova cautioned that any aggression against Crimea would face retaliation, condemning Western support for such actions. She cited British Foreign Secretary David Cameron‘s recent statement endorsing Ukraine’s right to use British-supplied weapons against Russian targets as evidence of Western involvement in a hybrid war against Moscow.

The historical context of Crimea’s status was also reiterated, with Moscow asserting that the 1954 transfer of Crimea from Russia to Ukraine was a mistake. The presence of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Crimea further complicates the situation, given previous clashes with Ukraine.

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