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Explosions Rock Crimea as Key Bridge Temporarily Closed Amid Missile Attacks

Several explosions were reported in Crimea’s Sevastopol following missile attacks by Ukraine, prompting the temporary closure of the vital Kerch Bridge.

Ukraine’s Missiles Rock Sevastopol

Credits: DepositPhotos

Crimea experienced a series of explosions near the port city of Sevastopol on Sunday, believed to be the result of missile attacks by Ukraine.

In response, Russian authorities temporarily shut down the Kerch Bridge, a significant link connecting the Crimean Peninsula to Russia.

Missile Attacks and Russian Defense

Credits: DepositPhotos

Russian air defense systems successfully intercepted one of the missiles near the city, as reported by Mikhail Razvozhaev, the Moscow-installed governor of Sevastopol.

Fortunately, there was no damage to the city’s infrastructure. Razvozhaev attributed the attack to Ukraine.

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Missiles Intercepted

Credits: DepositPhotos

Russia’s Defense Ministry confirmed that Kyiv had launched two guided missiles “over the Black Sea near the western coast of the Crimean Peninsula” at 2 p.m. Moscow time (6 a.m. ET) on Sunday.

These missiles were intercepted by Russian air defenses.

Downed Another Missile

Credits: DepositPhotos

Additionally, Russian authorities stated that air defenses had downed another Ukrainian missile over the same area, occurring just half an hour after the initial strikes.

Evacuation Alert and Explosions

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In response to the attacks, Razvozhaev issued an air raid alert to Sevastopol residents, urging them to seek refuge in the nearest air raid shelter.

However, he later provided an update indicating that the air raid alert had ended.

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Multiple Explosions Reported

Credits: DepositPhotos

Meanwhile, local Telegram channels reported multiple explosions in and around the port city, which hosts a significant portion of Russia’s Black Sea naval fleet.

Key Bridge Temporarily Blocked

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Authorities in Crimea announced that traffic across the Kerch Bridge, also known as the Crimean Bridge, was “temporarily blocked.”

However, they did not provide further details about the duration or reasons for the closure.

A Crucial Bridge

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The Kerch Bridge serves as a crucial connection between Russia’s Krasnodar region and the Crimean Peninsula, and it was inaugurated by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018.

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Ukraine’s Stance and Black Sea Tensions

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Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Black Sea region has become a significant battleground.

Ukraine remains determined to reclaim Crimea, which is located south of the mainland but has been under Kremlin control since its annexation in 2014.

Frequent Targeting of Crimea

Credits: DepositPhotos

Ukraine has frequently targeted Russian assets across Crimea, particularly in Sevastopol.

These attacks often involve Western-supplied cruise missiles and attack drones.

Notably, Ukraine successfully sank the Black Sea flagship, the Moskva, in April 2022, and in September 2023, a Russian submarine fell victim to Ukrainian forces.

Damage to Landing Ships

Credits: DepositPhotos

Additionally, Kyiv’s forces have inflicted damage on several of Moscow’s landing ships, including the Minsk, Saratov, and Olenegorsky Gornyak.

Late last year, Ukraine targeted Russia’s Novocherkassk landing ship in the eastern Crimean port of Feodosia.

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Impact on Russian Fleet and International Response

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In response to these attacks, Grant Shapps, Britain’s defense minister, noted that Russia had lost approximately 20 percent of its Black Sea fleet in the preceding four months, challenging Russia’s dominance in the Black Sea region.

Atesh Claims Sinking Russian Ship

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Recently, Atesh, a military movement composed of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars opposed to Russian rule in Crimea, claimed to have located a sunken Russian patrol ship near Sevastopol.

Satellite Imagery Confirms Downing

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The vessel was likely damaged by Ukrainian naval drones, according to the partisan group.

Satellite imagery subsequently confirmed the vessel’s sinking between December 28 and 31, 2023, as reported by the U.S. think tank, the Institute for the Study of War.

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