Major bridge to Crimea hit by UK-supplied Storm Shadow missiles

The Kremlin supporting Kherson governor, Vladimir Saldo, said that because of the British “Storm Shadow” cruise missiles, there is severe damage to the road on the Chonhar bridge. No casualties have been reported.

‌But speaking to the Financial Times, Andriy Yusov, an officer in Ukraine’s military intelligence, said that he “cannot confirm or deny” the Chonhar bridge strikes and that “the leadership of the occupiers bears responsibility for what is happening on the occupied territories”.

‌Ukrainian spokesmen have not admitted any responsibility for the strikes in Russian territory or in Crimea.

The Chonhar bridge is the shortest route from Crimea to the front line where pro-Kremlin militants have set up.

The “Storm Shadow” cruise missiles, provided by the Sunak government, were jointly developed by the UK and France, and have so-called “stealth capabilities”, with a firing range of more than 155 miles.

This addition to the Ukrainian armoury has been described as a “real game changer” according to a senior US military official, with their next best missile being a US-provided weapon only capable of a maximum range of 49 miles.

This strike comes just two days after Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Defence Minister, warned Britain that they would be seen as “full-fledged” contributors in this war, if the Storm Shadow missiles were to be used to hit targets in either Crimea or mainland Russia.

Despite threats from senior Kremlin officials, Ben Wallace, the UK Defence Secretary, supplied the Anglo-French cruise missiles to Kyiv, succumbing to a long-time demand of the Zelensky government for long-range missiles to help with the counterattack against Putin.

Photos of the aftermath show the sheer damage to the bridge as a result of the British-supplied missile, which left gaping holes in the road, revealing the murky water below, as well as shrapnel and rubble scattered across what remains of the road.

Last autumn, Ukrainian forces were able to recapture some of the Kherson region north of the Dnipro River.

But with the Kakhovka dam on the Dnipro River being destroyed this month, believed to be by a Kremlin sabotage attack, the Ukrainian counter offence became much more difficult for soldiers.

Ukraine’s offensive has been making relatively slow progress thus far, only recapturing eight villages.

But this bombing has been seen as a slightly bigger win for Ukraine, creating a dent in a pro-Putin heartland.

And now Putin sympathisers are in anger.

‌Saldo stated in response to the missiles that “there will soon be a very serious answer” from the Kremlin, and he called the strike “another senseless action ordered from London by the Kyiv regime”.

‌Sergei Shoigu has also warned that the Kremlin will now be targeting “decision-making centres in Ukraine”, hinting that perhaps Putin-ordered military operations will start to target Volodymyr Zelensky and his inner circle even more ferociously.

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