The Russian military said Saturday that it had thwarted another attack on a critical bridge linking the occupied Crimean Peninsula to Russia that Kyiv has vowed to keep attacking until it is unusable.
The Russian Ministry of Defense said that three Ukrainian “semi-submersible unmanned boats” targeting the Kerch Strait Bridge were destroyed in the Black Sea overnight. The first maritime drone was detected shortly before midnight and the other two launched about 10 minutes apart just after 2 a.m. local time, the ministry said in statements.
The claims could not be independently verified, and Ukraine’s military did not explicitly comment Saturday on whether its drones had targeted the bridge.
But Ukrainian officials have said that they consider the destruction of the vital 12-mile-long bridge a strategic priority, and Kyiv’s forces have repeatedly targeted it.
At the same time, Ukraine in recent weeks has intensified its frequency of drone attacks in Russia. A wave of exploding drones was launched in six regions of Russia this past week, damaging four military cargo planes at an airfield, in an apparent sign that Ukraine was increasingly capable of striking back deep inside Moscow’s territory.
American officials have said that the drone attacks in Russia are intended to demonstrate to the Ukrainian public that Kyiv can still strike back, even as its counteroffensive to reclaim Russian-occupied territory moves at a grinding pace. Another objective, as top Ukrainian officials have said, is to bring the war home to the people of Russia.