Ukraine Takes Responsibility For Terrorist Attack On Crimean Bridge

Military forces of Ukraine successfully carried out a terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge, also known as the Kerch Bridge, at approximately 3:15 a.m. on Monday, killing at least two and injuring a 14-year-old, it has now been reported.

According to the governor of Belgorod Oblast, Vyacheslav Gladkov, a mother and father from Belgorod were killed, and their 14-year-old daughter was injured.

The bridge attack followed an apparent Ukrainian drone attack on the Crimean port of Sevastopol that Russia’s defense ministry claims to have defeated. The Crimean Bridge connects the Crimean peninsula – which Russia annexed in 2014 – to mainland Russia.

Though Ukraine has not issued an official endorsement of the terrorist attack, CNN reported that a Ukrainian security official “claimed Kyiv’s [sic] responsibility” for the Crimean Bridge attack, but “spoke on condition of anonymity because they had not received authorization to speak on the record.” The official claimed the attack was committed using non-aerial maritime drones.

Shortly after the attack, Ukrainian Southern Operational Command spokesperson Natalia Humeniuk told the Kiev Independent that the strike was likely a false flag by Russia to provide a pretext to terminate the UN-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative.

Hours after the attack, the Russian government announced their intent to terminate the grain deal, which allowed Ukrainian ships safe passage to export grain which provided food security to an estimated 22 million people. Russia is the world’s largest exporter of grain, while Ukraine is the fifth-largest.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has complained repeatedly that the West failed to ensure Russian grain would be allowed through sanctions, and accused Ukrainians of using the safe-passage lanes to mount attacks on Russians. Russian authorities denied the decision was motivated by the attack on Crimean Bridge.

Russian OSINT blog Slavyangrad claimed on Telegram that a Russian naval invasion will commence within 72 hours. This remains unconfirmed, but the lapse of the grain deal means Russia is no longer committed to refrain from attacks on Ukrainian ports where grain is exported.

The Crimean Bridge is the longest bridge in Europe, and the 11th longest in the world. It consists of a 4-lane highway and a 2-track railway. It appears the attack damaged at least two lanes of the highway but did not do damage to the railway, and Russian authorities claimed afterwards that the support pylons remained undamaged.

While the bridge is a vital supply line for the Russian war effort, it is also the primary means of transporting Russian food, fuel and goods to civilians living in Crimea.

Crimea seceded in 2014 after a U.S.-backed coup known as the Maidan Uprising ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, whose Party of Regions advocated for the rights of the Russian minority population of Eastern and Southern Ukraine. A Pro-Russian interim government in Crimea then held a status referendum and declared that 97% of participants voted for integration with Russia. The Ukrainian government in Kiev, and its Western allies, declared the vote a fraud, but also refused to allow international observers to monitor it.

After annexation, Ukrainian business interests instituted a food blockade against Crimea, a move an International Republican Institute poll found 48% of Ukrainians supported. The Ukrainian government also closed the North Crimean Canal to deny Crimeans their primary source of fresh water in 2014; the canal remained closed until invading Russian forces reopened it following their “special military operation” in March of 2022.

In an interview with Krym Realii in April, Zelensky advisor Mykhailo Podolyak suggested cultural genocide, ethnic cleansing and concentration camps as means to deal with “brain-dead slave” Crimeans in the event of a Ukrainian victory over the Russian invasion:

We have to completely close everything related to the Russian cultural space there. We have to eradicate everything Russian. There should be only Ukrainian cultural space or global cultural space. We should not have a dialogue about whether a person has the right to use the Russian language or not. … There shouldn’t be this line: “Maybe these are our people, maybe we need to talk about something with them.” I was constantly surprised by this concept of reintegration in 2014-2015 and [the argument that] let’s reintegrate the occupied territories with a smile. Gangsters live there, criminals live there, occupying armies and administrations live there, but let’s reintegrate them with a smile. … They should be expelled, and some should be imprisoned.

The last time the Crimean Bridge was attacked, in October of 2022, Ukrainian officials immediately took credit for the strike. It killed five, disabled two highway lanes, and destroyed several rail cars full of fuel. Initial Ukrainian reports claimed that an aerial drone had carried out the attack and Oleksiy Danilov, head of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council, posted a video of the bridge on social media with audio of Marylin Monroe singing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President”. The attack took place on Putin’s 70th birthday.

Shortly after, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy denied responsibility for what many considered a terrorist attack.

The BBC insisted the October attack was carried out by a maritime drone, but Russian authorities declared the source of the explosion to be a suicide bombing from a IED-laden truck, while Ukrainian outlets Ukrainska Pravda and UNIAN – citing Ukrainian intelligence sources – confirmed that to be the case. It is unclear whether these sources believe the driver knew he was a suicide bomber or if the bomb was planted without his knowledge.

This is not the only terrorist attack on Russian forces or civilians linked to Ukraine. In early May, two suicide drones targeted the Kremlin, but were disabled with electronic warfare assets – Ukraine denied responsibility and claimed it was a Russian false flag. In late May, a mass drone attack targeted civilian residences in the wealthy Moscow suburb of Rublyovka – Ukrainians denied responsibility again. Many more drone attacks in Russia proper have targeted military infrastructure instead of civilians.

Ukraine also denied responsibility for three terrorist bombings in the heart of Russia: a car bombing in August, 2022 which killed Russian journalist Darya Dugina – daughter of popular nationalist philosopher Aleksandr Dugin; a cafe bombing in St. Petersburg which killed popular military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky; and another car bombing in May which injured popular pro-Kremlin novelist Zakhar Prilepin and killed his driver in Nizhny Novgorod.

These were all listed in the online Ukrainian “kill list” Myrotvorets, which provides a comprehensive list of “enemies of Ukraine” including politicians, journalists, entertainers and children. When a person on the list dies, they are marked as “eliminated.” Ukraine and its allies insist this is not a “kill list,” as it is called by the country’s critics.

Famous names on the list include U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Henry Kissinger, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, American pro boxer Roy Jones Jr., Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters and various Russian pop music stars. Most were put on the list for the crime of visiting Crimea or suggesting that Crimea should stay with Russia in a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Elon Musk, who has provided at-cost satellite internet infrastructure to Ukraine that has been described as indispensable to the war effort, was briefly placed on the list for suggesting that hostilities cease and a UN-monitored peace process instituted to determine the status of disputed territories.

Ukrainian forces also regularly shell downtown areas of the city of Donetsk in the Donbas region, though pro-Ukrainian sources generally maintain these attacks on ethnic Russians inside territory held by Russia are launched by the Russian military.

Pro-Russian pundits often speculate the purpose of the bombings is to divert Russian forces from vulnerable sections of the 930-mile front line in order to provide covering fire for Donetsk civilians. Donetsk has been regularly shelled by Ukrainian forces since Russian-backed rebels seceded in 2014.

One terrorist attack whose culprit remains unknown remains the sabotage of Russia’s Nord Stream pipelines in September, 2022.

The explosions released methane, a potent greenhouse gas, roughly equivalent to 14.6 million tonnes of CO2, making it the single largest emission of methane and the single greatest act of environmental terrorism in human history. For months, Ukrainian and Western officials insisted that the Russians had bombed their own pipeline as a false flag attack.

Legendary investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published an expose on his Substack in February which detailed the method and means by which he says the U.S. Navy carried out the attack, with assistance from the Norwegians. Facing pressure as U.S. denials of responsibility rang increasingly hollow, the notoriously CIA-friendly New York Times claimed in June that a rogue civilian pro-Ukrainian group “with a yacht” that was unaffiliated with any Ukrainian government agency had carried out the attack.

Independent experts viewed the Times’ theory with intense skepticism, as the explanation would seemingly violate the laws of physics. A recent independent Swedish investigation reported by The Grayzone indicated that the sabotage was likely caused by military ordnance and the digital footprint of the alleged yacht-divers bears all the hallmarks of a shoddily-constructed CIA cover story.

Russia launched its “special military operation” against Ukraine in February of 2022, claiming its goal was to protect separatist Russians in the disputed Donbas region from imminent Ukrainian state violence. Kiev and its allies have denied alleged plans to attack the Donbas, and maintain Russia’s invasion was unprovoked.