After a bridge attack, Russia carries out a’massive retaliatory strike’ against Ukraine

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday that it had attacked military targets in two Ukrainian port cities overnight in a “massive revenge strike” in retaliation for an attack on a Crimean bridge that it blamed on Kiev the previous day.

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The ministry stated that it had struck Odesa, where the Ukrainian navy’s headquarters are located, and Mykolaiv, near the Black Sea coast of Ukraine.

“Overnight, the Russian Federation’s armed forces conducted a massive retaliatory strike using precision sea-based weapons against facilities where terrorist acts against the Russian Federation were being planned using unmanned boats,” the ministry said in a statement.

It said it had attacked a ship repair facility near Odessa where such boats — believed to be naval drones used to attack the Crimean bridge — were being constructed.

 

In addition, near the cities of Mykolaiv and Odessa, storage facilities containing approximately 70,000 tons of fuel used to sustain the Ukrainian military’s equipment were destroyed.

 

It stated that every target had been struck and obliterated, citing fires and explosions as proof.

 

Reuters was unable to corroborate the account independently.

 

Earlier, the Ukrainian air force reported that six Kalibr cruise missiles and 31 out of 36 drones had been fired down, primarily over the southern coastal regions of Odessa and Mykolaiv.

 

On Monday, a Russian couple was slain and their 14-year-old daughter was injured in what Moscow said was a Ukrainian attack that destroyed the road portion of the bridge connecting Russia to the 2014-annexed Crimea.

 

The Ukrainian capital has not claimed responsibility for the attack.

 

Ukrainian media reported that Ukrainian security services used naval drones to attack the bridge, which had only recently resumed full operation following a similar attack in October.

 

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, stated on Tuesday that it was immediately apparent to Moscow that Ukraine was behind the attack, which prompted some Russian tourists to escape Crimea via regions of southern Ukraine controlled by Russian forces.

 

Peskov verified that the overnight attacks were a retaliation for the bridge assault.

 

Alexander Kots, a prominent Russian war correspondent for the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, lauded Moscow’s decision to strike Ukraine’s port infrastructure, but questioned why such strikes had not been launched beforehand.

 

“Why was the shipyard near Odessa, where marine drones are produced, attacked in reprisal and not in advance? “Was the intelligence only obtained after the bridge was attacked?” Kots questioned via social media.

 

The fact that Ukraine has repeatedly attempted to attack the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which is situated in the Crimean port of Sevastopol, with naval drones raises questions as to why the drone site was not targeted sooner.

 

“Why were the oil storage facilities attacked in retaliation as opposed to as part of a strategic plan to destroy the enemy’s military infrastructure?” Kots inquired. “It (Ukraine) needs no pretext to do this systematically, for instance. It does so without hesitance.”