Ukraine tightens the noose on Putin’s armies: ‘Saboteurs’ destroy bridge in Melitopol choking off key supply route for Russia’s troops
- M-14 highway bridge near occupied city of Melitopol was blown up overnight
- Road was a crucial route for supplying Russian troops in south of Ukraine
- Kyiv has not claimed responsibility but area is known to be rife with partisans
A key bridge used to supply Russian troops in the south of Ukraine has been destroyed in what is widely suspected to be a sabotage attack orchestrated by Kyiv.
The M-14 highway bridge near the city of Melitopol was pictured slumped into the Molochna Canal on Tuesday after a blast took out its supporting columns overnight.
The bridge sat along a vital road link between supply depots on Russia’s western borders and the frontline near Kherson, and became particularly important after the Kerch Bridge connecting Crimea and Russia was badly damaged.
Kyiv has not claimed responsibility but Ukrainian partisans are known to operate in the area, as Russian commentators reacted with fury – saying the structure should not have been left so vulnerable.
A bridge spanning a canal near to the occupied Ukrainian city of Melitopol has been destroyed in what is widely though to be a sabotage attack orchestrated by Kyiv
A crack is visible in the badly-bent roadway which was a vital route for military supplies to be taken from Russia to troops on the frontlines in the south of Ukraine
Mystery fire at plant linked to Russian army
A fire has broken out at an engineering plant with links to the Russian military.
The Zvezda factory, which makes high-speed diesel engine, was reported to be ablaze on Tuesday morning.
The plant produces high-speed diesel engines for the military and civil fleet, and gearboxes for power plants of medium-tonnage warships.
It is just the latest in a long line of fires at factories and depots with links to the Russian military.
Though Kyiv has not claimed responsibility, it is widely though to be behind them.
Pro-war Ramsay Telegram channel blamed Russian ‘negligence and misbehaviour’ for the bridge’s destruction.
Military correspondent of pro-Kremlin KP newspaper Alexander Kots – and a human rights advisor to Putin – asked in despair: ‘How is it that a strategic object in a potentially dangerous direction in terms of the terrorist threat was left unattended?’
He vented his anger: ‘In the tenth month of the war…it is already difficult to be surprised by anything, but dammit…’
Others attacked Russia’s failures in ‘counterintelligence and counterterrorism work’.
Pro-Russian official Vladimir Rogov said the main aim of the Ukrainians was ‘to disrupt the supply of vital goods – food, medicines and building materials to the liberated territories of the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions’ and Crimea.
While the bridge’s destruction will interrupt the flow of civilian goods, it is highly likely that the actual aim of the attack was to disrupt military supplies.
Fighting in Ukraine’s southern regions has become less intense since General Surovikin ordered a retreat from the city of Kherson a month ago but continues, amid rumours Ukraine could look to launch a new offensive in the area soon.
Western officials say Ukraine does not have the capacity to attack from Kherson across the Dnipro River and do not expect such an attack to take place.
Support pillars appear to have been blown out from underneath the roadway, which spans the Molochna Canal near the Ukrainian city of Melitopol
A crack is visible in the roadway after what is suspected to be a partisan sabotage attack which caused fury among Russian war bloggers
But Ukraine is in full control of a number of other crossings further to the north, which could be used to mount an assault southwards with relative ease.
Zaporizhzhia, which sits 60 miles north of Melitopol, is one such crossing point – another being 40 miles further north at Dnipro.
Separately, a car bomb narrowly missed taking the life of Putin official Vitaly Bulyuk, 52, deputy head of the administration in Skadovsk city in Kherson region.
One person died, reported to be his driver.
A health official in the Russian occupied region claimed Bulyuk suffered wounds of ‘moderate gravity’ but gave no details.
RIA Novosti said his life was not in danger.
He had been a Ukrainian official who switched sides to support the Russian occupiers.
The attack took place overnight Monday near the city of Melitopol, which has been occupied by Russian forces since the early days of the war