ER Editor: UPDATE via RT —
The Russian military has thwarted an attempted mass drone strike on critical infrastructure in the east of the Crimean Peninsula, according to the Defense Ministry, which claimed dozens of drones had been shot down or suppressed electronically overnight (ER: Monday to Tuesday. The Crimea Bridge was damaged this time around early Monday morning).
“Seventeen Ukrainian UAVs were destroyed by air defense systems. Eleven more UAVs were suppressed by electronic warfare and crashed before reaching their targets,” the military said in a brief statement on Tuesday morning.
There were no casualties or damage on the ground following the attempted air raid, according to Crimean Governor Sergey Aksyonov.
Two things seem to have happened here.
One, Russia has ceased participation in the grain deal (formerly called the Black Sea Initiative), which among other things was supposed to allow its agricultural products to be exported unhindered through the Black Sea (a type of ‘humanitarian corridor’), to be able to reach certain countries in the world such as Africa. And the Kerch Strait (Crimea) bridge has been attacked by Ukraine once again. About the cancelled grain deal, that Russia had formerly been renewing:
Last Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow would “suspend participation in this deal” unless its food and fertilizer exports were unblocked.
He described the arrangement as a “one-sided game all along,” adding that “not a single goal linked to the interests of the Russian Federation was met.” Putin also stressed that, despite this fact, his country had extended the deal numerous times over the past year.
Formally known as the Black Sea Initiative, the agreement between Moscow and Kiev was mediated by the UN and Türkiye last summer. Accompanying the deal was a Russia-UN memorandum aimed at facilitating unimpeded Russian agricultural exports.
The document, among other things, called for the admission of Russia’s major agricultural lender, Rosselkhozbank, back into the SWIFT payment system, as well as enabling deliveries of spare parts for agricultural machinery, sorting out insurance and logistics and “unfreezing” Russian assets.
While the agreement was originally touted as a mechanism for averting famine in poorer nations, the vast majority of Ukrainian grain exported as part of the deal ended up in Europe instead, Moscow claimed. (ER: Word is that some of this grain sent to Europe was found to be toxic.)
Did cancelled participation in the deal create the impetus for the Crimea bridge attack, or is it in reverse? The bridge attack happened on the 17th, the expiry date of the grain deal. Coincidence?
On the Crimea Bridge explosion, causing two deaths, Putin has vowed retaliation —
Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed retaliation for a new strike on the Crimean Bridge, targeted by two Ukrainian naval drones overnight. Exact retaliatory measures are currently being weighed by the country’s Defense Ministry, he said during an extraordinary meeting with senior officials on Monday.
“The incident is a yet another terrorist attack by the Kiev regime. This crime is pointless from the military point of view, since the Crimean Bridge has long not been used for military transport, and brutal, since only innocent civilians were killed and injured,” the president stressed.
More information below and a reading of the situation by Andrew Korybko. First, some tweets —
A family car is struck during the sea drones attack on the Crimea bridge. Parents tragically lost their lives, while doctors are fighting to save the child. The family was on their way to summer holidays. Ukraine media confirm Ukraine stands behind the attack… pic.twitter.com/JzO4sVFD4M
— Russian Market (@runews) July 17, 2023
How is Zelenskyy helping his people by blowing up a lane on the Crimea bridge and killing civilians when he knows that this will trigger a strong Russian response? He can’t win on the battlefield, NATO is done with him and he’s become the ultimate loser Internet meme. Desperate.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) July 17, 2023
The NATO-backed Zelensky regime has again attacked and destroyed a section of the Kerch bridge linking Crimea to the Russian mainland.
This is a stupid escalation, when they could easily de-escalate the Ukraine conflict and end the death and destruction.https://t.co/5crycQZhGq
— David Kurten (@davidkurten) July 17, 2023
Air defense forces shot down 9 UAVs in the east of Crimea
Another 19 drones were suppressed by electronic warfare, said the head of the Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov. There were no casualties.
The day before, there was a terrorist attack on the Crimean bridge, as a result, the road…
— Spriter Team (@SpriterTeam) July 18, 2023
For a truly fine-grain analysis of the situation, see this by Simplicius —
Crimean Bridge targeted by Ukrainian terrorist attack – Moscow
The raid has killed two people and injured one child, damaging the structure’s road section, the National Antiterrorist Committee said
The Crimean Bridge has been targeted by a Ukrainian terrorist drone attack, Russia’s National Antiterrorist Committee (NAK) announced on Monday.
In a statement, the NAK said that the key link between the Crimean Peninsula and mainland Russia was attacked by two Ukrainian unmanned sea vehicles at around 3am local time.
“The terrorist act resulted in the road component of the Crimean Bridge sustaining damage. Two adults were killed and one child was injured,” it stated, adding that law enforcement agencies are investigating the matter.
The NAK statement comes after several Ukrainian media outlets described the attack as a “special operation” conducted by the country’s security services and naval forces. Publicly, however, Ukrainian officials stopped short of assuming direct responsibility, while cheering the incident.
The fatalities were first reported by Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, who said that those who died were a married couple from his region, adding that their daughter had also been injured.
Following the raid, Russian authorities stopped traffic from crossing the bridge, although several hours later, train service on the undamaged section was resumed.
Ukraine has attempted to target the bridge in the past. Last week, Kiev’s forces launched a missile at the key link but failed to break through Russian air defenses, according to the Defense Ministry in Moscow.
In October 2022, the bridge was damaged in a deadly truck bombing that Russia said was orchestrated by Ukrainian intelligence services. At the time, Moscow responded by intensifying missile strikes on the neighboring country’s energy and military infrastructure.
Kiev’s Latest Attack Against The Crimean Bridge Was A Desperate Distraction
Instead of obsessing over this incident and getting the hopes of Kiev’s supporters unrealistically high, it would be much more responsible for the media to precondition everyone to expect the seemingly inevitable resumption of peace talks.
Kiev’s NATO–backed counteroffensive has failed despite the tens of billions of dollars invested in this endeavor as confirmed by US Defense Intelligence Agency Chief of Staff John Kirchhofer’s candid admission late last week that “we are at a bit of a stalemate.” Ukraine can’t count on much more American aid either after Biden earlier revealed that the US is “low” on ammo after depleting its stockpiles, which National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan later told CNN will take years to replenish.
It was against this backdrop that the US decided to give Ukraine cluster munitions despite previously describing their alleged use by Russia as a “war crime” since it simply doesn’t have much else left to send. President Putin had earlier assessed that the export of provocative weapons like depleted uranium shells was precisely due to the aforesaid predicament, which he reaffirmed in light of the latest news. Quite clearly, the NATO chief’s “race of logistics”/”war of attrition” with Russia isn’t going as planned.
The counteroffensive has failed so spectacularly that Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar was forced to inform her audience that reports about Russia going on the offensive near Kupyansk in Kharkov Region are true but sugarcoated it by claiming that Kiev is “putting up strong resistance.” With Russia regaining the military initiative, it was only a matter of time before Ukraine resorted to terrorism out of desperation to distract from these dynamics, ergo why it once again attacked the Crimean Bridge.
Monday morning’s incident killed at least two people and showed that shortcomings still exist when it comes to defending this strategic piece of infrastructure. Nevertheless, its temporary closure in the aftermath of this attack likely won’t affect Russia’s frontline operations, especially since its rail portion hasn’t been damaged. Even so, this is still a symbolic victory for Kiev that’ll be spun by the Mainstream Media to make it seem like the counteroffensive has finally achieved something significant.
In reality, however, this latest attack has nothing to do with that campaign. It was presumably planned for a while and won’t shift the military-strategic dynamics of this conflict, neither in the broader sense when it comes to Russia’s edge over the West in the “race of logistics”/”war of attrition” nor in the specific one with respect to its offensive in the Kupyansk direction. All that this attack will do is distract from the preceding facts that are too “politically inconvenient” for Kiev’s supporters to acknowledge.
As they indulge in the latest “copium” pushed by the Mainstream Media and online trolls, the fact remains that Kiev’s counteroffensive spectacularly failed and talks will therefore likely resume with Moscow by sometime later this year as explained in detail here. Instead of obsessing over this incident and getting the hopes of Kiev’s supporters unrealistically high, it would be much more responsible to precondition everyone to expect the aforementioned diplomatic development, which appears inevitable.
Published to The Liberty Beacon from EuropeReloaded.com
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