In another attempt to cut off Russian troops from vital supply routes, Ukraine has attacked two bridges to the Crimean Peninsula. Late yesterday afternoon (local time), the Russian occupation authorities reported hits and damage to the car bridges at Chonhar and near Henichesk on Sunday. After a large Ukraine summit in Saudi Arabia at the weekend, Kiev is talking about important bilateral meetings with more than 30 delegations, which are said to have been about security guarantees for the country, among other things.
In particular, diplomats rated the participation of China in Saudi Arabia, which was not represented at a meeting of a similar format in Copenhagen in June, as a success.
Russia attacked Ukraine more than 17 months ago. According to observers, the theaters of war have recently shifted somewhat away from the front line. According to this, Kiev chooses more eye-catching targets such as Russian warships, or fires drones at the capital Moscow. The Russian armed forces, on the other hand, have recently resorted to regular attacks on the Black Sea - targeting one of the country's most important economic lifelines.
Kiev and Moscow: Attacks on two car bridges near Crimea
According to the occupation chief of the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson, Vladimir Saldo, the Chonhar bridge between Crimea and mainland Ukraine was hit by a missile and damaged. As a result, traffic had to be blocked. A little further north-east near Henichesk, a bridge was fired at with several rockets, Saldo wrote on Telegram.
According to the Russian occupation authorities in Crimea, car traffic to the peninsula in the north was only possible on two connecting routes to the mainland after the attacks. In the evening, the Russian civil defense also announced the blocking of the ferry connection to Crimea via the Kerch Strait until this Monday morning.
In an unusual move, the Ukrainian armed forces claimed responsibility for the attacks a few hours later. According to their statements, the "two important supply routes of the Russian occupiers" were attacked yesterday afternoon. Before that, Kiev had only admitted attacks on bridges to Crimea much later. The information could not initially be checked independently.
The Chonhar Bridge is an important supply route for the Russian army, which has been waging a war of aggression against Ukraine for more than 17 months. It has already been attacked several times by the Ukrainians as part of their counter-offensive this summer. Kiev wants to liberate all parts of its territory occupied by Russia - including Crimea, which was annexed by Moscow in violation of international law in 2014.
London: Russian Air Force with a lot of effort but little return
According to British assessments, the Russian Air Force achieved only minor successes in the war of aggression against the Ukraine, despite great effort. The Air Force flew more than 100 missions a day during the summer, the Ministry of Defense said in London. "However, due to the threat posed by Ukrainian air defenses, these were almost always limited to operations over Russian-controlled areas."
Russia is trying to solve this problem by increasingly using so-called free-fall bombs with sliding attachments to extend the range. These bombs could be dropped from planes many kilometers from the target, but have not yet consistently proven their accuracy, London said.
"At the beginning of Ukraine's counter-offensive in the south from June 2023, Russian attack helicopters were very effective," the British ministry further commented. However, Russia has apparently not recently managed to build up an effective tactical air force in the south.
Agreement to continue Ukraine talks
According to the head of the Presidential Office in Kiev, Andriy Yermak, representatives of Ukraine also held numerous bilateral meetings at the level of advisers on national security and foreign policy on the implementation of the Ukrainian peace formula in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah over the weekend. "We discussed defense, security guarantees, the importance of a global peace summit and a grain deal with representatives of other countries," Yermak wrote on Telegram last night.
The core of the peace formula of Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyj is the demand for the withdrawal of Russian troops from the entire national territory of Ukraine. But host Saudi Arabia is also said to have circulated a peace plan. Russia did not participate.
After the end of the meeting, Riyadh said that the participants had agreed to continue international consultations in order to pave the way to peace on a common basis, as the SPA state agency reported last night.
Zelenskyy: More than 14,000 combat missions of the air force
On the Day of the Air Force of the Ukrainian Armed Forces President Zelenskyy congratulated the country's air force. The pilots have flown more than 14,000 combat missions since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression, Zelenskyj wrote on Telegram. Shared pictures and videos show the President writing and signing "Glory to Ukraine" on a suspected French Scalp/EG cruise missile attached to a fighter plane at an unknown air force base.
The designation of the missile type is printed on the cruise missile in the colors of the French flag, and an Eiffel Tower can also be seen next to it. Scalp/EG is the French name for the Storm Shadow cruise missile developed jointly with Great Britain. After French President Emmanuel Macron announced the delivery of the weapons at the NATO summit in Vilnius in July, Ukrainian media now take the French's proven delivery of these cruise missiles, which have a range of more than 250 kilometers. London had already confirmed the delivery of Storm Shadow to Kiev in May.
What is important today
The counter-offensive to recapture occupied areas is continuing in the east and south of Ukraine.