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Ukrainian intelligence preparing to destroy Crimean Bridge in first half of 2024 – The Guardian

Wednesday, 3 April 2024, 11:26
Ukrainian intelligence preparing to destroy Crimean Bridge in first half of 2024 – The Guardian
Fire at Crimean Bridge. Stock photo: Getty Images

Defence Intelligence of Ukraine (DIU) is preparing a special operation to destroy the Crimean (Kerch) Bridge in the first half of 2024, The Guardian has learned from unnamed high-ranking intelligence officials.

Source: The Guardian

Details: The publication said that DIU believes it will be able to disable the bridge in the near future. "We will do it in the first half of 2024," a source told The Guardian.

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The source added that the intelligence service already has "most of the means to carry out this goal" and pointed out that DIU’s head Kyrylo Budanov is acting in accordance with a plan approved by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to "minimise" Russia's military presence in the Black Sea.

The publication notes that it is currently unclear how the special operation will unfold, as Russia has taken significant measures to protect the bridge by strengthening air defence and deploying a "target barge" as a decoy for incoming missiles.

Read more: When we regain Crimea, the Crimean Bridge will cease to exist – Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine's Intelligence Chief

Previously: In July 2023, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the Crimean Bridge is a legitimate target for Ukraine because Russian invaders use it to transport weapons. This target should be neutralised, the president said.

Background:

  • There have been at least two successful attacks on the Crimean Bridge. The first strike occurred on the morning of 8 October 2022, the day after Vladimir Putin's 70th birthday. A truck carrying explosives wrapped in foil was used for this attack. The second strike on the bridge was carried out by Ukraine on the night of 16-17 July 2023, using naval uncrewed surface vessels, an operation dubbed Sea Baby, just like the drones themselves.
  • Additionally, on 12 August 2023, explosions were heard twice in one day near the Kerch Bridge in occupied Crimea. The Russian Defence Ministry claimed that Ukraine had attempted to strike the Kerch Bridge with S-200s.
  • Budanov stated that the bridge was not the target in the 12 August attack.

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