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Russia Warns US Directly Regarding Crimea: Predicts Failure

Maria Zakharova
Maria Zakharova

Moscow has leveled accusations against the United States and its allies in Ukraine, alleging preparations for strikes on Crimea and issuing a stern warning of impending “retaliation.” Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian foreign ministry, asserted during a briefing that the Crimean Bridge, a pivotal link between Russia and the peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014, was once again under threat.

Throughout the conflict initiated by Vladimir Putin, the Crimean Bridge, also known as the Kerch Bridge, has been a repeated target of attacks. While symbolizing the Russian occupation of Kyiv, it also serves as a crucial conduit for transporting Moscow’s troops and equipment to the frontline, making it a strategic focal point. Any strike on this bridge could significantly impact Russia’s war efforts in the region.

In addition to the bridge, Ukraine has intensified its assaults on Russian naval assets across the broader area, targeting vessels and infrastructure belonging to the Black Sea Fleet, much of which has been relocated to Novorossiysk in Russia’s Krasnodar region. Zakharova emphasized that these preparations are being conducted openly, with overt bravado, and with what she described as direct support from Western allies.

Crimea Bridge

Crimea Bridge (Credits: AP News)

Zakharova further highlighted the recent delivery of U.S.-supplied ATACMS long-range missiles to Ukraine, citing the Russian defense ministry’s claim that six of these missiles were intercepted over the peninsula in the previous week. This move, according to U.S. officials, marked the first deployment of ATACMS missiles by Kyiv, targeting Russian military installations in another occupied area.

The escalation is compounded by reports indicating Ukraine’s imminent receipt of F-16 aircraft, purportedly capable of participating in operations to dismantle the Crimean Bridge. Zakharova issued a stark warning to Washington, London, and Brussels, cautioning against any aggressive actions toward Crimea, emphasizing the futility of such endeavors and the inevitability of severe reprisals, albeit without elaborating on the specifics.

Subsequently, the Russian defense ministry claimed that its air defense forces had intercepted four ATACMS missiles over the Crimean Peninsula, boasting of successfully neutralizing a total of 15 missiles in recent weeks. However, Russia’s claims of downing Ukrainian missiles and drones often lack subsequent evidence of damage, with later reports sometimes revealing strikes on military targets or infrastructure.

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