UPDATE - Russia says Ukraine launched 'terrorist attack' on Crimean Bridge
Defense Ministry says S-200 missile detected, shot down with no damage to bridge
UPDATES WITH DEFENSE, FOREIGN MINISTRIES STATEMENTS
By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) - Russia on Saturday said Ukraine attempted to strike the Crimean Bridge with a S-200 missile, adding the missile was detected and shot down.
“Today, the Kyiv regime attempted to launch a terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge with an air defense guided missile S-200, converted into a strike version. The Ukrainian missile was promptly detected and intercepted in the air by Russian air defense systems. There were no damage and no injuries,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry later said one hour before the first attack, another missile was shot down over the Kerch Strait.
Separately, the head of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, said on Telegram that two missiles were shot down, repeating the Defense Ministry's statement that there was no damage to the bridge.
A smoke screen has been installed on the bridge, and traffic will resume soon, he said.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned the attacks on the Crimean Bridge.
"It (the bridge) has been subjected to such attacks since the fall of last year. These attacks led to the death of civilians," she said.
Zakharova said Kyiv is "getting back at civilians because it is unable to change the situation on the front line despite all Western military assistance."
"Such sabotage gives the international community an opportunity to once again see the true nature of the Kyiv regime. There can be no justification for such barbaric actions, and they will not remain unanswered," she said.
On Saturday morning the Russian Defense Ministry said another Ukrainian attack with 20 drones was foiled.
The Ukrainian authorities are yet to respond to Russia's claims, however, the state news agency Ukrinform shared a photo of the bridge, showing heavy smoke on both sides, accompanied by a mocking note: "We would like to remind the invaders that smoking harms the health and integrity of illegally erected bridges."
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in July that attacks on Russian territory are an "inevitable, natural, and absolutely fair process."
In addition, Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak told Ukrainian 24 on Friday that drone attacks on Russian territory will become "more frequent and effective."
The Crimean Bridge, also known as the Kerch Bridge as it crosses the Kerch Strait, connects mainland Russia with the Crimean Peninsula, which has been under its control since 2014.
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