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Ukraine says Russia is ‘sinking ships’ to guard Crimean bridge – here is what we discovered | World Information

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Russia has “sunk” quite a lot of vessels by the Crimean bridge utilizing what analysts name a “200-year-old technique” to defend itself towards the rising risk of Ukrainian sea drones.

Satellite tv for pc photos gathered by Sky Information present six darkish objects in a row showing over a seven-day interval by the Crimean bridge, also called Kerch Bridge.

The bridge is the one direct hyperlink between the transport community of Russia and the Crimean peninsula and has come beneath repeated assaults all through the battle.

It follows claims made by Ukraine’s intelligence ministry (GUR) that Russia deliberate to “sink no less than six watercraft” by the bridge to create a “protecting lane” in entrance of it.

The GUR additionally mentioned Russia “supposed to put in boundaries between the sunken ferries” to guard the bridge “from harm”, in a Telegram submit final Tuesday.

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In satellite tv for pc imagery taken by Planet Labs PBC on 19 August, no objects are seen within the water south of the bridge, however on 21 August two vessels seem.

Two days afterward 23 August one other vessel could be seen on the floor of the water.

Nonetheless, by 26 August, six objects in the very same positions round 30 metres in size seem in a darker color – which specialists recommend may imply they’ve been sunk and are beneath the water.

Two of the six vessels have been highlighted on this satellite tv for pc picture taken on 26 August. Pic: Planet Labs PBC

‘{Old} response to new risk’

Safety and defence analyst Professor Michael Clarke mentioned using “block ships” – vessels sunk in a strategic place to kind a bodily barrier – is “an {old} response to a brand new risk” of Ukrainian sea drones.

“This can be a giant space so that you’d must have a collection of ships then some kind of barrier in between it, it could possibly be chains or metal nets, to cease something getting by way of,” he mentioned.

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‘Sea Child’ drone used to assault Crimean bridge

Nonetheless, he added: “The Ukrainians have developed a intelligent new know-how and Russia is responding with a 200-year-old technique of sinking ships in entrance of it.”

When it comes to its effectiveness, Prof Clarke mentioned the defence technique is “in all probability the easiest way for Russia to forestall sea drone assaults”.

In July, Ukraine’s home intelligence company (SBU) claimed duty for the primary time for a sabotage operation that badly broken Kerch Bridge on 8 October final 12 months.

Pic: AP
Aftermath of assault on Kerch Bridge on 8 October final 12 months. Pic: AP

Learn extra:
What are sea drones?
Prigozhin’s ‘death’ seems to reveal a Russian principle

The SBU additionally advised CNN it carried out an assault on the bridge on 17 July this 12 months utilizing a sea drone – an unmanned vessel that operates on or beneath the water’s floor.

Kerch Bridge is strategically essential for Russia because it serves as a vital provide route for its forces after its invasion of Ukraine, sending forces from Crimea to grab elements of southern Ukraine’s Kherson and Zaporizhzhia areas.

Prof Clarke mentioned using block ships shouldn’t be a wholly new defence technique, however it’s the first time we have seen Russia use it since its invasion of Ukraine final February.

The Data and Forensics staff is a multi-skilled unit devoted to offering clear journalism from Sky Information. We collect, analyse and visualise information to inform data-driven tales. We mix conventional reporting abilities with superior evaluation of satellite tv for pc photos, social media and different open supply info. By multimedia storytelling we purpose to higher clarify the world whereas additionally displaying how our journalism is finished.

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