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Russian-Installed Authorities Intercept Cruise Missile, Temporarily Suspending Traffic Kerch Bridge

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(CTN NEWS) – On Sunday, authorities installed by Russia in the Crimean peninsula claimed to have successfully intercepted and shot down a cruise missile near the city of Kerch, leading to a temporary suspension of traffic on the Kerch bridge connecting the annexed territory to Russia.

Sergei Aksyonov, the governor of Crimea appointed by Moscow, stated that the Russian air defenses successfully intercepted the missile without causing any harm or casualties. However, no specific information regarding the missile’s type or origin was provided.

In the neighboring Russian region of Rostov, officials also reported the downing of a missile on Sunday. Governor Vasily Golubev confirmed that the missile was of Ukrainian origin, and its debris caused damage to the roofs of several buildings.

Fortunately, no casualties have been reported thus far.

Escalating Attacks Mark 500 Days of Ongoing Conflict in Ukraine

Throughout the ongoing war in Ukraine, attacks targeting Russian regions along the border with Ukraine and the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula have become increasingly frequent, with the conflict now surpassing its 500-day milestone.

Both officials in Russian regions and Moscow-appointed authorities in Crimea have regularly reported incidents such as explosions, drone strikes, and cross-border raids allegedly carried out by Ukrainian saboteurs. Kyiv has never officially claimed responsibility for these attacks.

In October of the previous year, a significant explosion caused severe damage to the Kerch bridge, a vital transportation and supply route for Russian forces in Crimea.

The bridge was rendered inoperative for several weeks. In what seemed to be the first direct acknowledgement of Ukraine’s involvement, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar mentioned the attack as one of the country’s major achievements in the ongoing conflict in a Telegram post on Saturday.

“(It has been) 273 days since we executed the initial strike on the Crimean bridge, aiming to disrupt logistics for the Russians,” Maliar wrote.

In addition to this incident, Maliar also referenced the sinking of the Moskva cruiser, an event that Russian authorities have been reluctant to attribute to a Ukrainian attack.

Maliar’s post on Sunday attracted attention from Russian state media and officials.

In an online statement condemning the attack, Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, once again referred to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government as a “terrorist regime.”

In other recent developments:

  • On Saturday, one of the defense commanders from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, who had returned to Ukraine, announced his decision to go back to the battlefield. The steelworks had served as the final stronghold of resistance when Russian forces initially took control of the port city. In mid-May 2022, over 2,000 defenders of Azovstal left the steelworks and were captured by Russian forces.
  • These five leaders, some of whom were associated with the Azov national guard regiment, which Russia denounces as neo-Nazi, were released in a prisoner swap in September and taken to Turkey, where they were to remain under the protection of the Turkish president until the end of the war. However, President Zelenskyy brought them back to Ukraine on Saturday, without an immediate official explanation regarding the conditions of the exchange.
  • Denys Prokopenko, one of the five commanders, spoke to reporters upon his return to Ukraine, stating his intention to rejoin the battlefield. He expressed his conviction that the army’s success relies on teamwork and declared, “From today, we will continue the fight together with you. We will definitely contribute to the battle,” as reported by Ukrainian media.
  • The death toll resulting from a Russian missile strike on Lyman, a city located in the partially occupied Donetsk region, rose to nine on Sunday. Lyman is situated a few kilometers away from the front line, where Russian troops have recently intensified their fighting activities within the forests of Kreminna.

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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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