On Saturday, Moscow declared its intention to seek retribution following an incident characterized as a “terrorist attack.” According to authorities, Ukraine reportedly directed a missile strike at a bridge connecting Russia to the annexed Crimean peninsula during the night. Ukraine has not issued a statement regarding the purported attack. In response, Russia’s defense ministry stated that S-200 missiles were launched at the bridge, but were successfully intercepted and resulted in no harm.
“There can be no justification for such barbaric actions and they will not go unanswered,” conveyed Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson for the defense ministry, through a statement on Saturday via the platform Telegram.
This marks the third assault in recent months on the 12-mile Kerch bridge, a structure inaugurated with great celebration by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018. This critical link facilitates both rail and road transit between Russia and Crimea, serving as a pivotal means of replenishment for Moscow’s troops stationed in southern Ukraine.
As for the missiles allegedly launched at the bridge by Russia, they were guided projectiles with their origins rooted in the Cold War era, initially crafted for aerial targets. Nevertheless, these rockets have undergone modifications over time to target alternative forms of infrastructure, as noted by the Ukrainian website Euromaidan Press in the previous month.
Apart from the endeavor to carry out a missile attack, Russia reported the interception of 20 Ukrainian drones in the vicinity of the peninsula. This occurrence stands as the most recent effort to inflict harm upon the bridge, following an incident last month where explosives struck it, leading to the loss of two lives. Russia’s commitment to respond coincides with the ongoing advancement of Ukraine’s counteroffensive, initiated in June, which is achieving noteworthy progress.
Ukrainian military actions have compelled Russian forces to station troops in defense of the western Zaporizhia Oblast. This development suggests that the effectiveness of Russian defenses could be experiencing notable erosion, according to an evaluation shared by a think tank based in Washington, posted on Friday evening.
Furthermore, the Security Service of Ukraine released footage depicting a drone attack that resulted in the destruction of a unique Russian Terminator 2 vehicle designed to support tanks. However, the agency refrained from providing specific details about the location and timing of the recorded incident.
On Saturday, a 73-year-old woman lost her life due to shelling in the Kharkiv region, while a police officer perished in a bombing incident within the city of Zaporizhzhia. This city has been subjected to intense shelling from Russian forces.
Denise Brown, the humanitarian coordinator for the United Nations in Ukraine, expressed strong disapproval of the continuous assault in Zaporizhzhia. Just two days prior, missiles struck a hotel along the Dnipro River in the city, which frequently accommodates UN staff and other individuals involved in humanitarian efforts.
Amidst the ongoing conflict, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky took action on Friday by dismissing the leaders of the nation’s regional army enlistment centers. This move followed an inquiry that unearthed rampant corruption, including instances where officials were discovered accepting bribes, facilitating the illicit movement of eligible draftees across the border despite wartime restrictions, and engaging in various other forms of misconduct. President Zelensky revealed that a total of 112 criminal cases have been initiated against officials associated with the draft board.