Explosions have been heard on the Kerch Bridge in the temporarily occupied Crimea in what appears to be a double attack, and smoke is rising, local Russian-controlled resources report.
The Crimean bridge suffered a whole two attacks today, around 13:00 and 15:00— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) August 12, 2023
Russia's occupation authorities claimed 3 missiles downed and that the smoke visible on footage shared by local TG channels is a smoke screen. Traffic has been suspendedhttps://t.co/9YKTpxd6yR pic.twitter.com/LgBVmvGQ5W
Around 13:00, explosions were heard around the bridge, and footage has shown smoke rising over it in different places.
Plumes of smoke above the Crimea bridge are visible above a beach in Kerch.— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) August 12, 2023
Crimean occupation authorities claimed that Ukraine launched S-200 missiles at the bridge. However, the strike could have actually been probing air defense, military expert Oleh Katkov says:… pic.twitter.com/3zWlOVjyjM
Russia’s occupation head of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov reported that two missiles were downed above the bridge, and his advisor Oleg Kryuchkov claimed that the smoke visible above the critical bridge, which connects occupied Crimea with Russia, is actually a smoke screen put up by Russian special services.
Meanwhile, the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed it intercepted a Ukrainian S-200 missile.
At 15:19, Aksyonov said that another missile was downed above the bridge, and locals heard at least eight explosions, as per reports by local TG channels.
At least eight explosions were heard near the bridge around 15:00, and Russian TG channels share footage exposing the positions of air defense around the bridge— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) August 12, 2023
Military analyst Katkov says that 17 July attack was preceded by a probe, and this may very well be also a probe… pic.twitter.com/MYlYc9RAoC
Traffic movement on the bridge has been suspended.
LIGA.net reports that the bridge experienced similarly chaotic situation one month ago. On 9 July, the occupiers reported that they had repelled an attack on the bridge during daylight hours. And on 17 July, in the morning, a real attack on the Crimean Bridge took place, during which one of the spans collapsed, damaging the logistics of Russia’s war efforts in occupied southern Ukraine.
At that time, Defense Express editor-in-chief Oleh Katkov suggested in a comment to LIGA.net that there could have been a reconnaissance operation on 9 July, possibly, with the use of decoy missiles like the American MALD, which in modern versions can transmit the coordinates of enemy radar stations.
And on 17 July, a destructive attack took place according to all the rules – in the morning, in the dark, the expert explained:
“And it was immediately effective. Therefore, there is an assumption that the attack on 9 July was a reconnaissance of air defense positions. And 17 July was the result of successful reconnaissance.”