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The Kerch Bridge In Flames: A Story Of Post Stamps, Military Dolphins, And Looming Retaliations

Bridges have a powerful aura about them. They are important as symbols, but also, in the case of a war, they are powerful geopolitical assets. No wonder why, then, that the Kerch Bridge, or Crimean Bridge, was held by the Kremlin as both a symbol of Russia's occupation of Ukraine and a highly strategic point which they avidly guarded against Ukrainian attacks.


 


This bridge is crucial in supplying food, food, and other goods to Sebastopol, where the Russian Black Sea fleet is posted. The Kerch bridge was indeed a critically important asset in supplying Russians troops on the southern Ukrainian front… until it wasn’t anymore. This crucial bridge partly collapsed on Friday night, apparently from Ukrainian attacks. 


 


This explosion, most likely due to a Ukrainian missile, is said to set back Russian advancement into Ukraine by two to three weeks. The partial destruction of this notoriously symbolic token of Russian power in Crimea echoes another, as the guided missile cruiser Moskva also went down last spring. 


 


Russia announced that the bridge’s explosion killed three people. The attack on the Kerch bridge was followed by two relevant statements in Moscow. The first one was to appoint a new overall commander in the Ukrainian war, Sergei Surokivin.


 


This comes as a timely setback for Russian troops, as the Ukrainian troops are starting to conquer some grounds back from Russia. On another note about the timing of this attack: it happened just one day after Vladimir Putin’s seventieth birthday. 


 


Back in April, a Russian news site boasted the impermeability of the bridge to any foreign attacks. This impenetrable defence included 20 different modes of protections: barriers of anti-missile devices, underwater ultrasounds, land and airborne fleets of units, and even military dolphins.


 


This important logistical route allows Russia to bring supplies to its troops into occupied Ukrainian territories via Crimea. While the main arches have seemingly not been damaged enough to completely bar the bridge from further usage, it still counts as a great victory for Ukrainians, who have even launched a postal service commemorative stamp.


 


This bridge has a contentious history to begin with. Considered the jewel of Putin's large infrastructure project by Russian sympathisers, it was funded by Arkady Rotenberg, a close friend of Putin, at a reported cost of $3.6 billion. However, Ukrainians did not consider this bridge legitimate. In August, Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the Head of the Office of President Volodymyr Zelensky, shared his thoughts, saying that it “should be destroyed,” due to the fact that it was “an illegal construction.”


 


In fact, Putin has been under pressure from pro-war Russian nationalist about how poorly his troops were performing in Ukraine. The second statement Moscow made was to reiterate its threat of using nuclear power.


 


Indeed, Russia had always threatened to retaliate, were any damages be inflicted to this bridge. While festive celebration in Kiev followed the bridge’s partial destruction—with some inhabitants taking selfies next to a mural representing the bridge in flames, with a quote saying “happy birthday Putin”—some fear the extent of said retaliation.


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Tags: #Russia #war #Ukraine #Breaking #Kerchbridge



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