Ukraine threatens to dismantle 'illegal' bridge linking Russia to Crimea

Ukraine threatens to dismantle 'illegal' bridge linking Russia to Crimea
Credit: Belga

Ukraine threatened on Wednesday to dismantle the Kerch bridge, built at great expense by Moscow to connect Russia to the annexed peninsula of Crimea, where several explosions occurred recently at Russian military bases.

“This bridge is an illegal structure and Ukraine did not give permission for its construction. It damages the ecology of the peninsula and must therefore be dismantled. It doesn't matter how: voluntarily or not,” Mikhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidency, wrote on Telegram.

The Kerch Bridge, which was inaugurated by Russian President Vladimir Putin in May 2018, represented a huge, costly two-year project to span the 19 kilometers linking Russia to Crimea and open up the peninsula four years after its annexation by Moscow.

The veiled threat from Mr. Podoliak comes after a series of explosions in Crimea, which Russia is using as a logistical rear base for its invasion of Ukraine, launched on February 24.

On Tuesday, an attack targeted an ammunition depot on a military base near Djankoï, in northern Crimea, which Moscow described as an “act of sabotage” without naming those responsible.

A week earlier, explosions had occurred at the Russian military airfield in Saki, in the west of the peninsula, killing one person and injuring several others.

While Ukraine has not acknowledged responsibility for these attacks, its officials have not failed to suggest, ironically, that these incidents were due to poorly extinguished cigarettes or poor compliance with fire regulations.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has consistently stressed that Kyiv “will never give up” its intention to retake Crimea from Russia.

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