Russia Takes Revenge, Targets Ukraine Ports

( – The Russian-Ukraine war is about to enter its 18th month, and both sides show no signs of slowing down. The two countries have been aiming missiles at critical infrastructure, hoping to slow opposing troops and supply routes down. A pair of recent attacks have drawn a lot of attention for the potential blowback they could have not just on the two countries, but the world.

Crimea Attacks

Between February and March 2014, Russian forces invaded and took control of Crimea, Ukraine, annexing it, a violation of international law. The action led to its suspension from the G8 and sanctions.

On Monday, July 17, the Kerch Strait Bridge fell under attack, despite being heavily guarded by Russian troops. The 12-mile long span links Crimea to Russia, which has made it a significant target in the recent war. It’s speculated that two drones dropped explosives on the bridge, damaging both. The rail running alongside the bridge was still operations, albeit with delays. Russian officials said two people were killed in the attack and another injured.

This incident was the second time the bridge fell under attack. Last October, a truck carrying explosives detonated, collapsing part of the roadway directly into the water, rendering it inoperable temporarily. Four people died in that explosion.

Damage to the bridge is a blow to Russia because it’s a critical route for goods in peacetime, but even more so for troop supplies and reinforcements during the conflict.

Russia Retaliates

Following Monday’s attacks on the bridge, Russia pointed the blame at Kyiv. It then took immediate action. On Tuesday, the country’s Defense Ministry said it “carried out a mass retaliatory strike overnight […] against facilities where terrorist acts against the Russian Federation” were in preparation, according to Newsmax.

Specifically, two Ukrainian port cities — Odessa and Mykolaiv — were targeted. Among the destruction were storage facilities containing tens of thousands of tons of fuel and a ship repair plant, both of which could hinder the war-torn country’s water operations.

The attack on Odessa is particularly worrisome because it’s where Ukraine ships out its grain from. Losing the ability to do so could cause food scarcity in countries that rely on the shipments. However, the deal established between Ukraine and Russia that allowed the former to use the waterways was already at risk. Russia had accused its neighbor of abusing the agreement they had in place, using it to carry out military shipments and operations in addition to grain shipments.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he plans to meet with government officials and military commanders to address this issue. However, the threat that Russia may attack a critical grain shipment remains cause for concern.

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