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Attack on the Crimean Bridge: "red lines are over, now the brown ones have begun" 07/24/2023 13:31:00. Total views 1102. Views today — 2.

Unprecedented security measures and intimidation with "red lines" didn't work! In a conversation with OstroV, locals say that the recent attack on the bridge is a "low blow", after which any assurances from the "authorities" that everything is going according to plan look ridiculous and absurd.

"Has the red line not been affected yet?" - one of the popular Sevastopol Telegram channels mockingly writes in response to the recent explosion on the Crimean Bridge on July 17.

The propagandist resource reminded that exactly one year ago on the same day, former russian president dmitry medvedev stated that Ukraine would face a "doomsday" if they attacked Crimea. He threatened that "finding shelter would be very difficult". However, since then, the first explosion on the Crimean Bridge and drone attacks (including maritime ones) on the peninsula have already occurred...

The recent bridge explosion was initially labeled by the occupying authorities as an "emergency incident", which couldn't help but upset the local residents.

"An emergency incident? Why not just call it an unusual event? The red lines are over, now the brown ones have begun", - Crimeans express their outrage on social media.

Early in the morning on July 17, a powerful explosion (several, according to some reports) occurred on the Crimean (Kerch) Bridge, which connects the russian mainland with the temporarily occupied Crimea. The russian National Anti-Terrorism Committee reported that a terrorist attack was carried out on the Crimean Bridge, involving two unmanned surface vehicles.

"At 3:05, two Ukrainian unmanned surface vehicles attacked the Crimean Bridge. As a result of the terrorist act, the road component of the Crimean Bridge was damaged", - the statement said.

As a result of the "emergency incident", "Head of Crimea" Sergey Aksyonov called on Crimeans to refrain from traveling across the bridge and "choose an alternative overland route for safety reasons".

Ukrainian and russian traces

Unlike after the first explosion on the Crimean Bridge, local and russian authorities didn't beat around the bush and immediately accused Ukraine of the incident. The so-called "Head of the Crimean Parliament", Vladimir Konstantinov, was the first to make this statement.

"Tonight, the terrorist regime in Kyiv committed a new crime - they attacked the Crimean Bridge. In Kyiv, they couldn't be unaware that the road part of the crossing is solely a civilian object. But terrorists have never been deterred by that. It won't stop them in the future either", - he said.

Later, the russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case on the charge of "terrorist act", in which Ukrainian special services were accused.

"According to the investigation, on the night of July 16-17, as a result of a terrorist act carried out by Ukrainian special services, one of the sections of the Crimean Bridge was damaged. The investigation is identifying individuals from among Ukrainian special services and armed formations involved in the organization and execution of this crime", - they stated.

In the evening of July 17, the russian dictator putin also commented on the "emergency incident".

"What happened is another terrorist act by the Kyiv regime. It is a senseless crime because the Crimean Bridge has not been used for military transport for a long time", - he said.

However, during the same meeting with putin, the "Head of Crimea" Aksyonov spoke about the "prioritized military cargo" being redirected to ferry crossings...

The Ukrainian side, as usual, did not acknowledge its involvement in the "emergency incident".

"Now the whole world sees the miles-long traffic jams and damage to the bridge structures. As for additional comments on the reasons for this – we do not comment. We can only quote the words of Kyrylo Budanov, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, who said that 'the Crimean Bridge is an unnecessary construction'", - said Andriy Yusov, the spokesperson for the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.

Later, Ukrainian media, citing sources, published numerous reports that the detonation of the Crimean Bridge was a special operation conducted by the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Security Service of Ukraine.

"The bridge was attacked using surface drones. Reaching the bridge was difficult, but in the end, it was successfully done", - the statement said.

The Security Service of Ukraine covertly commented on the detonation of the Crimean Bridge, promising to reveal all the details after Ukraine's victory.

"The Security Service of Ukraine will definitely disclose all the details of the operation after our victory. For now, we are watching with interest how one of the symbols of the putin regime once again failed under military pressure. At the same time, we remind you that in one of the interviews, the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine, Vasyl Maliuk, stated that international law, analysis of the operational situation, and traditions of warfare allow for cutting off the enemy's logistical routes. The Crimean Bridge today is one of the transportation corridors for military supplies to the russian army", - the department stated.

Russian media and social media users quickly picked up this statement, labeling it as a "confession of committing a terrorist act". However, in this case, propaganda did its job – the russian media refrained from quoting the phrase "after Ukraine's victory" and distorted the statement to "in the case of victory".

However, there are opposing statements, hinting at a possible provocation by russia itself. For instance, according to Nataliia Humeniuk, the head of the press center of the Southern Operational Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the damage to the Crimean Bridge might be a russian scenario implemented before the extension of the "grain deal" and in anticipation of a Ukrainian counteroffensive.

"We understand that with the unprecedented security measures taken by the russians around the Crimean Bridge, they probably controlled the entire situation, and it is likely unfolding according to their programmed scenario. Considering that today the question of the future of the 'grain deal' was raised, it is quite possible to assume that the enemy might resort to any provocations", - she stated on the morning of July 17. A few hours later, russia officially withdrew from the "grain agreement".

A similar version was also voiced by Mykhailo Podoliak, an advisor to the President's Office.

"Let's assume - considering the extent of the damage - that the russians themselves carried out such a spectacular/ineffective (the structure continues to function) detonation. Based on their current level of intelligence and inability to foresee consequences, it's quite plausible", - he believes.

According to him, in this way, the russians might try to "hijack the terrorism theme" and claim that terrorist acts are not only committed by russia.

Furthermore, according to Podoliak, the russians could have provided a specific "human shield" consisting of civilians along the contact line throughout the occupied territory.

"Roughly speaking, they could use the ground corridor to transport reserves using 'women and children' as a cover. Once again, it's the classic russian (publicly declared by putin on numerous occasions) tactic of conducting large-scale military operations", - he noted.

In Podoliak's opinion, the russian authorities might also use the bridge detonation to further frighten their citizens and aggressively impact the social environment within russia, proving that a real war is ongoing.

The final motive, according to Podoliak, could be to create maximum bloodshed and scandalous incidents to "distract attention from the 'weak tsar' putin, who brilliantly demonstrated his cowardice in the situation with the unsuccessful 'Prigozhin’s mutiny'".

"In any case, all of this is very practical and typical for russia - primitive technological tasks and solutions. And it doesn't matter that it greatly damages the reputation of the 'russian army' and russian special services", - summarized the advisor to the President's Office.

However, it must be acknowledged that the 'russian trace' version appears more like mocking the aggressor rather than being realistic.

Reaction

Several hours after the "emergency incident", messages and videos about retaliatory strikes began circulating on local social media. Local propagandists took to the streets of Crimea, questioning passersby about how russia should respond to the bridge explosion.

"We should respond to that and punish them. Don't they have similar targets? Why not? Why are we so lenient? Why do we pity them?", - replied one of the residents of Sevastopol.

"If they attacked us, then we should attack back", - supported his girlfriend.

One of the residents even suggested striking with nuclear weapons.

Interestingly, journalists did not ask about the possible consequences of the explosion...

Russian and occupying authorities were not silent either. The so-called "Chairman of the State Council of Crimea", Vladimir Konstantinov, was one of the first to speak about "retaliatory strikes" against Ukraine. Moreover, he recalled the promised strikes on decision-making centers by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.

"They can only be stopped by depriving them of the physical ability to make such strikes and by the inevitability of retribution for each such attack. We will monitor the news regarding retaliation. Our Defense Minister promised strikes on decision-making centers", - he announced on his Telegram channel.

With a similarly belligerent rhetoric, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of russia, dmitry medvedev, called for the destruction of buildings and the annihilation of Ukraine's top leadership.

"Global and our own experience shows that it is impossible to combat terrorists with international sanctions, intimidation or entreaties. They only understand the language of force. Only personal and completely inhumane methods. Therefore, their own homes and the homes of their relatives must be blown up. We should seek and eliminate their accomplices, abandoning the naive idea of a judicial process against them. But most importantly, we should destroy the top leadership of terrorist formations, no matter where these insects may hide. It's difficult, but possible", - believes the former president of russia.

Separately, the occupiers and propagandists raised the issue of seizing the Ukrainian Black Sea coast, including Odesa.

"We should free Kherson, Mykolaiv, Odesa. And no deals with them. They will definitely use any deal to strike at us. They have no success on the battlefield, so they will continue their terrorist activities", - declared occupant Konstantinov.

Vladimir Dzhabarov, a member of the party "United russia" and the russian Federation Council, agrees with him.

"Ukraine must be completely cut off from the Black Sea, otherwise the threats to Crimea will repeat again and again. Odesa and Mykolaiv must become Russian regions again", - he noted.

Terrorist Strelkov-Girkin also mentioned that such situations will repeat.

"I have nothing to add to what I wrote after the previous attack on the Crimean Bridge: 'there will be more hits'. There will be more hits. Bigger, farther, stronger. Until the remarkable idiots in the Kremlin understand that there will be no deals, that their partners will not understand or forgive them, and that in war, one must be victorious", - he wrote on Telegram.

As for the locals, they were disturbed by the fact that Crimean media and social networks briefly discussed the bridge explosion, its causes and consequences, and then quickly switched to other topics.

"This is surreal. We had a second attack on the main transportation artery, which we were told is the most secure object in the world (yes, they said that after the first attack!). Super air defense, and so on, and yet we mourned for a couple of hours and then moved on to other topics. In the evening of July 17, all our news was only about the grain deal, the crashed plane and Erdogan. The local authorities first threatened, promising retribution, and then quickly shifted their focus to the grain deal and other 'more important issues'. And the fact that we had an attack on Sevastopol before that was hardly mentioned or written about", - resident of Simferopol Ekaterina told OstroV.

Indeed, the local media didn't dwell long on the latest bridge explosion. In the second half of the day, messages about minor damages, prompt repairs, and the failure of Ukrainian plans to completely destroy the object began to appear.

One of the Sevastopol news Telegram channels advised reading about delicious Crimean food instead of worrying about the bridge…

"Listen, we are being cut off from the mainland of russia, and there may be disruptions in the supply of fuel, food and medicine. The tourism business will suffer a lot, that's obvious. I don't think there will be more tourists after such news. I hope that those who are already here, somehow manage to get by. People don't understand how such an attack on such a heavily guarded object could happen. People don't understand what will happen next. People don't understand why everything continues to go 'according to plan'. But we are discussing the topic of the grain agreement and why it is beneficial for us to withdraw from it; that's the number one topic now", - noted Mikhail, a resident of Sevastopol.

According to him, some of his colleagues and acquaintances, despite their combative and anti-Ukrainian sentiments, are beginning to look at the war differently and "understand something".

"The rhetoric about weak "khokhols" gradually fades away. The locals acknowledge that the Ukrainian army is strong and won't give up easily. Criticism is mounting towards both the local authorities, who only seek to pacify and lull us, and the central authorities, questioning the effectiveness of our super air defense against Ukrainian makeshift drones. I can tell you that when the whole "Wagner PMC thing" happened, I asked all my acquaintances and colleagues in Sevastopol, and they were all in favor of Prigozhin. And when we discussed the new bridge explosion, someone said that it wouldn't have happened under his watch", - he added.

Consequences

First and foremost, as a result of the destruction of a section of the Crimean Bridge, the russians will face logistic problems, including the supply of equipment and personnel to the frontlines.

"Since the peninsula is used by the russians as a large logistics hub for moving forces and equipment deep into Ukrainian territory, any logistical issues will complicate matters for the occupiers and potentially create advantages for the Ukrainian defense forces", - says Andriy Yuzov, a spokesperson for Ukraine's Military Intelligence.

The Institute for the Study of War notes that russian tourists fleeing from occupied Crimea have likely increased traffic and hindered logistics from the peninsula to the rear areas of the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson oblasts in Ukraine.

Analysts point out that russian logistics in southern Ukraine will suffer in the short and medium term, exacerbating the supply shortages for the occupiers in the Zaporizhzhia oblast, who are already complaining of difficulties.

Serhiy Zhurets, director of the information consulting company Defense Express, highlights the information-psychological aspect of the bridge's destruction.

"We are talking about a power operation aimed at restricting logistics and supplies from russia to Crimea, concerning everything related to the occupation. On the other hand, it significantly affects russia's ability in the future to hold Crimea and ensure supplies to the territories it holds in the Zaporizhzhia oblast", - he believes.

After the first attack on the Crimean Bridge, the russians significantly increased shelling of Ukrainian cities and started attacking energy facilities, raising a logical question that is actively discussed on social media - what to expect from them.

"If we look at the ultimate perspective, the response will be the achievement of all the goals of the 'special military operation', which will continue", - stated the press secretary of the russian dictator.

Putin himself threatened with a "response" being prepared by the russian Ministry of Defense.

Later, it turned out that this "retaliatory strike" was a drone attack on Odesa on the night of July 18. At least that's how Peskov responded to the corresponding question.

As for forecasts from Ukrainian authorities, according to Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the President's Office, russia may increase the number of mass strikes on Ukraine in response to the Crimean Bridge explosion. He doesn't expect anything new or surprising.

"Russia has no unexpected moves in this war. They have only one unexpected move - to increase the number of civilian casualties... Today, it's the summer of 2023, and russia is already using all its resources, all means. Russia will continue to escalate until it has resources", - he believes.

He separately noted that he does not believe in a nuclear response from russia, which is actively discussed on social media.

"A nuclear strike would mean the end of modern civilization as such. Then it will be clear that there are no restraining factors, and it's not a question of Ukraine", - Podoliak said.

Meanwhile, while russian propagandists discuss "retaliatory strikes", Ukrainian social media is filled with numerous memes about the bridge explosion.

By Andriy Andrieyev, OstroV