The Great Game – Kerch Bridge on fire!
On monday morning, the Kerch Bridge between mainland Russia and the Crimea was attacked yet again. Unlike former attack like the Nordstream strike, there is little doubt as to who did it as the Ukrainians are openly mocking the Russians:
bridge – broke – broken
— Ukraine / Україна (@Ukraine) July 17, 2023
So – why attack the bridge again and what does it tell us about the war?
A bridge too far
The Kerch Bridge links the Russian Krasnodar Region with Crimea and was built after the 2014 annexation as a symbol to link Crimea together with Russia. Since the 2022 invasion and the capture of Mariupol, Russia has created a second land path into Crimea via Rostov-on-Don, but the Kerch Strait Bridge is still hugely important, and as mentioned symbolic.
It was first attacked by the Ukranians back in October. This was a huge shock to the world as well as the Russian population and displayed just how vulnerable the supply routes and infrastructure surrounding Crimea are. The bridge was not completely destroyed, but it took five month until the road bridge was fully re-opened in February and a further two months before the rail bridge was fully re-opened. The symbolic value was much more important and fuelled a wave of Russian terror strikes against Kyiv and other major Ukrainian cities as well as renewed threats over the use of nuclear weapons. Don’t be fooled – the Kerch Bridge is personally important to Vladimir Putin. It’s simply a bridge too far for him.