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Russia, the destroyed Crimean bridge. ISW Analysis: Front-line supplies will only get worse

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The attack on the bridge connecting Russia with Crimea will negatively affect Russian logistics and supplies to the front in Ukraine, the American Institute for War Studies (ISW) wrote. Analysts say this will exacerbate already emerging complaints from commanders about supply problems.

The bridge built by Russia and leading through the Kerch Strait to occupied Crimea, was damaged on Monday in an incident, the reasons for which are not exactly known. Unconfirmed reports speak of a drone attack carried out by Ukrainian forces. Officially, Kyiv does not confirm the attack.

From the beginning of the Russian invasion on Ukraine in February 2022, the bridge is used by Russia to transport soldiers and military equipment to the Crimea, and then to the south of Ukraine. This is one of the two main supply routes for the Russians.

Photo from July 17, 2023

Destruction on the Crimean BridgePhoto from July 17, 2023Reuters/Crimea24TV

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ISW: problems for Russian logistics

ISW analysts remind that the former commander of the 58th Army, General Ivan Popov, complained about the treatment by the Russian Ministry of Defense of the units subordinated to him to stop the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Zaporizhia region in southern Ukraine. Many of these complaints indicated that supplies for the 58th Army and other Russian troops were insufficient, the ISW indicates.

This situation, according to experts, will get even worse when logistics are hampered by tourist and civilian traffic on the same routes that the Russian army uses for deliveries to the front.

Damaged Crimean Bridge in satellite photosReuters

The ISW indicates that tourist traffic to the occupied Crimea is blocking Russian military logistics at a time when Ukrainian forces are counterattacking in southern Ukraine. Nevertheless, the Russian authorities continue to recommend the occupied peninsula as a summer destination for citizens, pressing civilians to drive through the war zone.

The Crimean Bridge in the photo from July 17, 2023Reuters

“Justified Military Targets for Ukrainian Forces”

The bridge to the occupied Crimea, as well as the military areas on the peninsula, are “legitimate military targets for Ukrainian forces defending themselves against a full-scale Russian invasion and occupation of the country,” the ISW reminds.

The Russian claims that the attack on the bridge was an act of terror are intended to minimize the fact that the bridge is a legitimate military target behind the war zone, the Institute writes.

Main photo source: Reuters

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