Ukrainian forces damage key bridge near annexed region

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Ukrainian forces damage key bridge near annexed region

Ukraine has reportedly damaged a key bridge outside an occupied city that has been used as a supply route by Russian forces.

The bridge over the Molochna River connecting the city of Melitopol to a nearby village was partially blown up Monday, with the blast causing the crossing’s concrete supports to crumble and its span to buckle, as seen in videos shared online.

The bridge is said to be currently unusable for heavy military transports.

Melitopol is located in the Zaporizhzhia region — one of the four parts of Ukraine that were annexed by Russia in September following referendums decried as a sham by Kyiv and its Western allies.

A bridge over the Molochna River outside the strategically vital city of Melitopol in a Russian-occupied region of Ukraine was damaged by a blast Monday.
A bridge over the Molochna River outside the strategically vital city of Melitopol in a Russian-occupied region of Ukraine was damaged by a blast Monday.
Vladimir Rogov/east2west news
The bridge closed to traffic after a portion of its span buckled.
The bridge closed to traffic after a portion of its span buckled.
Vladimir Rogov/east2west news
The supports of the bridge were said to have been rigged with explosives, which were then detonated.
The supports of the bridge were said to have been rigged with explosives.

The city is strategically important because it is a crucial logistics hub that leads to the occupied Crimean peninsula. It is viewed as vital to Russia’s defense of territory it holds in the south.

Exiled Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov taunted Russians about the attack in a Telegram post Monday.

“In Melitopol, the bridge that connected the city with the village of Kostyantynivka was ‘tired,’” he wrote. “This is one of the strategically important sites after the ‘fatigue’ of the Crimean bridge. It was through it that the occupiers transported military equipment from the eastern direction.”

Fedorov was referring to the Kerch Strait Bridge in Crimea — Russian President Vladimir Putin’s $3.7 billion pet project — which was heavily damaged in an explosion in October but has since reopened to traffic.

Putin accused Ukraine of orchestrating the explosion and unleashed retaliatory airstrikes against cities throughout Ukraine that dealt a heavy blow to much of the country’s vital infrastructure, leaving millions without power, water and heat.

Fedorov added: “Well, not dear [Russian fascists], the ZSU [Armed Forces of Ukraine] is already nearby. You will run away without looking back!”

The bridge has been used as a supply route by Russian forces bringing military equipment from occupied Crimea.
The bridge has been used as a supply route by Russian forces bringing military equipment from occupied Crimea.
Melitopol, left, is a key logistics hub that leads to the Crimean peninsula, which has been in Russian hands since 2014.
Melitopol (left) is a key logistics hub that leads to the Crimean peninsula, which has been in Russian hands since 2014.
Ivan Fedorov/east2west news

Russian state-controlled news site RIA Novosti reported that saboteurs had planted explosives in the Melitopol bridge’s abutments. The crossing remained standing but was closed to traffic.

The attack on the bridge came just two days after Ukrainian forces used US-supplied HIMARS to destroy barracks in Melitopol.

Kremlin-backed authorities reported just two casualties resulting from the attack on what they described as a “recreation center,” while Ukrainian officials claimed that more than 200 people have been killed.

Contrary to Russian claims that the site was being used by civilians, Fedorov claimed the recreation center in fact housed analysts from Russia’s top security agency, the FSB.

With Post wires

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