Ukraine claims to have attacked the Key Bridge outside of Putin’s annexed territory

A Ukrainian mayor has sneered at Russia after striking a bridge Monday used by Russian troops to transport military equipment into disputed annexed territory.

The strike comes more than nine months after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the “special military operation” in Ukraine in February in hopes of a quick victory but was jaded by Kiev’s temperamental defenses and bolstered by Western aid. Putin’s troops are struggling to reach key targets in Ukraine, referring to the recent pre-winter attacks on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure.

Amid these attacks, Ukraine recently fired volleys against Melitopol, a town in Zaporizhia Oblast that Russia annexed in September after referendums dismissed by the West as sham elections.

The latest attack targeted a bridge used by Russian soldiers to bring military equipment into the region. Many details about the strike, including whether anyone was injured or what type of weapon was used, remained unknown as of Monday.

Bridge used by Russians attacked in Melitopol
Russian soldiers in Melitopol are seen next to a picture of the city’s mayor Ivan Fedorov, who on Monday mocked Russia for an attack on a strategic bridge in the eastern Ukrainian city’s suburb.
YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images; Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov boasted about the attack in a Telegram post.

“In Melitopol, the bridge connecting the city with the village of Kostyantynivka was ‘tired,'” he wrote. “This is one of the strategically important objects after the ‘tiredness’ of the Crimean bridge. The occupiers used it to transport military equipment from the east.”

Fedorov added: “Well, cheap rashists, the ZSU [Armed Forces of Ukraine] is already near. You’ll run away without looking back!”

Russia’s Ria Novosti news agency reported that the bridge was damaged in the attack but ultimately survived. It was claimed that the explosion was triggered by explosives planted in the bridge’s abutments and traffic across the span was halted. news week could not independently verify the statement of the point of sale about the condition of the bridge.

Over the weekend, Ukraine also demolished barracks in Melitopol using High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), the missile system provided to Ukraine by the US and credited with turning the war in Ukraine’s favour.

Russian-installed authorities in the region said two people were killed in the attack, while Ukrainian officials put the death toll at around 200. news week could not independently verify either claim.

Yevgeny Balitsky, the Russian-installed regional governor of Zaporizhia, said a “recreation center” where civilians dine was “completely destroyed” in the strike.

Melitopol is a strategically located city that the Russians have been using as a logistics center since the annexation, Fedorov wrote in a previous Telegram post. He wrote that Russia had delivered S300 missile complexes and other “high-precision weapons” to the city, which were being used to shell residential areas of Zaporizhia.

These attacks on Zaporizhia caused a stir among the international community as the city is home to the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

It is also close to Crimea, the region that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. In October, a bridge in Crimea was also rocked by an explosion.

news week asked the defense ministries of Ukraine and Russia for their opinion. Ukraine claims to have attacked the Key Bridge outside of Putin’s annexed territory

Rick Schindler

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