Ukraine dealt a significant blow on Thursday, June 22, causing substantial damage to one of the bridges connecting Russian-occupied Crimea with the Ukrainian mainland. The Chonhar bridge is a key part of Russia’s supply route between Russia’s mainland and the Crimean peninsula and is perhaps one of the most damaging strikes conducted as part of Ukraine’s recently-launched counteroffensive.
Vladimir Saldo, who leads the Russian-installed administration in occupied Kherson, released video footage demonstrating the damage caused to the Chonhar road bridge. The video shows how Ukrainian missiles blasted right through the asphalt in the road, making it virtually impossible for Russian military convoys to pass over the bridge. Saldo described the attack as “meaningless” and accused the British government of ordering Kyiv to conduct the strike.
“Another meaningless act perpetrated by the Kyiv regime on orders from London,” Saldo claimed. “It solves nothing as far as the special military operation is concerned.”
Despite Saldo’s insistence that the strike would not dramatically impact Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, however, the strike could require that Russian forces take alternative routes that add hours to their journey between occupied southeastern parts of Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula. Many of the alternative routes require cars and vehicles to pass over roads in poor condition.
Russia’s Investigative Committee announced on Thursday that Ukrainian forces launched four missiles at the bridge, and Crimean Governor Sergey Aksenov announced that experts were at the scene to determine when – or if – traffic could once again cross the bridge. Until the full extent of the damage has been determined, however, Ukraine has severely impacted Russia’s supply routes across the southeastern land bridge between Russia and Crimea that Russian forces have spent more than a year establishing.
Is Russia Looking For an Excuse to Attack the UK?
It’s no secret that London, England, could be the first non-Ukraine target for Russia should the war expand beyond the Ukrainian border. In June 2022, Russian MP Andrey Gurulyov, a member of the defense committee, described how London would be the first strategic NATO target to be hit by Russia in the event of the outbreak of a Third World War.
Speaking on Russian TV, Gurulyov described exactly how Russia would respond to an attack from a NATO country.
“We’ll destroy the entire group of the enemy’s space satellites during the first air operation. No one will care if they are American or British; we would see them all as NATO.”
“Second, we’ll mitigate the entire system of anti-missile defence, everywhere and 100%. Third, we certainly won’t start from Warsaw, Paris or Berlin. The first to be hit will be London,” he added.
The comments are likely particularly alarming for the British government, that Russia has accused London of not only ordering the strike but of providing the missiles used to attack the Chonhar bridge this week.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.