Russia Pummels Southern Ukraine In 'Retribution Strikes' For Crimea Bridge Explosion

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Jul 18, 2023 - 03:45 PM

Moscow had vowed revenge for the Kerch Bridge 'terror attack' which happened Monday, and killed two Russian civilians and temporarily shut down traffic.

It now appears to be carrying out that retaliation campaign in what the defense ministry (MoD) called a "strike of retribution" against facilities in southern Ukraine. 

Image purportedly shows the aftermath of a strike on July 17, 2023, on the Kerch Bridge. via Newsweek

The bridge attack was reportedly conducted by sea drones, and so the Russian MoD said Tuesday it launched aerial drones and missiles against maritime drone factories "as well as a ship repair plant that was manufacturing the drones," according to a statement. 

The strikes including destroying fuel storage facilities near Odesa and Mykolaiv, per internatinoal reports. Ukraine has confirmed multiple waves of attack drones as well as six Kalibr cruise missiles which were fired at Odesa. 

The latest Kerch Bridge attack destroyed a Russian family's vehicle as it was crossing the bridge. Two parents were killed, and their daughter wounded, according to official Russian statements.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials have claimed responsibility for the attack, per CNN

A Ukrainian security official has claimed Kyiv’s responsibility for an attack on the bridge linking the annexed Crimean peninsula to the Russian mainland – a vital supply line for Russia’s war effort in Ukraine and a personal project for President Vladimir Putin.

The nearly 12-mile crossing, also known as the Kerch Bridge, is the longest in Europe and holds huge strategic and symbolic importance for Moscow. Monday’s attack on the bridge was the second since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, after a fuel tanker exploded while crossing it in October.

The report confirms that "A source in Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) told CNN this attack was a joint operation of the SBU and Ukraine’s naval forces."

"The source spoke on condition of anonymity because they had not received authorization to speak on the record," the report added.

With Kiev's counteroffensive largely stalled, there will likely be an uptick in attacks on both Crimea and within Russian territory. Moscow has seen these increasingly brazen operations, including an assassination campaign targeting influential Russians, as acts of desperation while the counteroffensive gets beaten back.