Explosions hit critical road bridges linking occupied Crimea with parts of Kherson region under Russian control, Russian authorities say, as Ukraine escalates its targeting of Russian infrastructure and territory.
The blasts came on the same day the Moscow mayor said a drone had been shot down approaching the city and soon after Ukraine struck one of Russia’s biggest oil tankers with a sea drone as well as carrying out an attack on a major naval base.
The Russian-appointed acting head of Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo, says the missiles that hit two bridges in Crimea Sunday were all Storm Shadows, an air-launched long-range missile supplied to Ukraine by the UK.
Saldo said the two bridges were used by civilian and not military traffic. A rupture to a gas pipeline running alongside the bridge had cut off supplies to 20,000 residents of the city of Henichesk in Kherson.
Saldo said: “It’s this kind of sneaky missile attack that can’t be forgiven. It’s like a wounded animal snapping back.
“These strikes do not do anything for the special military operation that is currently underway … They have decided to take petty revenge on civilians and those who are now moving through the territory of the Kherson region.”
He added that no one was hurt and the bridge would reopen to traffic by the end of the day.
Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said a Russian guided aerial bomb struck a blood transfusion center in the Kharkiv region Saturday.
He added that there were dead and wounded without providing any specific numbers.
A new wave of Russian missiles also struck sites across Ukraine overnight, most of which were shot down.
Ukrainian strikes inside Russia and Russia-controlled territory are an increasingly common feature of the war.
A string of drone strikes have peppered Russian cities including Moscow throughout the summer, while Friday saw the attack on a Russian port hundreds of miles from Ukrainian-held territory, leaving a warship listing.
Ukraine on Saturday pledged that there would be more of such attacks on Russian shipping and the Crimea bridge to come.
Any explosions that happen to Russian ships or the Crimean bridge are “an absolutely logical and effective step. Moreover, such special operations are conducted in the territorial waters of Ukraine and are completely legal,” said Head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) Vasyl Maliuk.
Maliuk said that if the Russians wanted such explosions to stop “they have the only option to do so – to leave the territorial waters of Ukraine and our land.”