Gen. Hodges says Ukraine is capable of destroying Crimean Bridge

December 6,2023 4491
Gen. Hodges says Ukraine is capable of destroying Crimean Bridge

Ukraine will destroy the Crimean (Kerch) Bridge if it gets enough ATACMS and Taurus missiles, said retired US General Ben Hodges, former commander of NATO’s Ground Forces in Europe, in an article for Foreign Affairs.

But destroying the bridge will be a difficult task. It has been expertly constructed to bear heavy traffic. Its size, strength, and durability are such that it has withstood repeated Ukrainian attacks. For Kyiv to succeed in permanently disabling or destroying the bridge, Ukraine’s Western allies must provide far larger numbers of powerful precision-guided missiles,” Ben Hodges explained.

The Crimean Bridge is not an innovative or overly complex structure; the difficulty of destroying the crossing lies in its large size, the General emphasizes. A massive attack with powerful missiles is needed to finally disable it. The strikes must be aimed at several places or one specific point.

ATACMS missiles with unitary warheads could allow Ukraine to regularly strike the more vulnerable spans of the bridge, compelling security and repair crews to be present and vigilant and adding to Russia’s logistical burden,” Hodges wrote.

The US can motivate Germany to deliver Taurus missiles to Ukraine, even if Congress does not allocate money to help Kyiv, the General believes.

Many Western leaders proclaim that they will support Ukraine’s war effort for as long as it takes. This is a flawed conception of victory. Instead, they must do whatever it takes to help Ukraine defeat Russia as quickly as possible,” Hodges wrote.

The expert believes the Crimean Bridge can become the key to Ukraine’s overall victory over the Russians. The construction of the bridge was part of Russia’s strategy to dominate the Black Sea, and the occupiers also used the crossing to supply weapons.

It is evident that Russia is worried about this risk. Recent reports in The Washington Post reveal that Moscow has been in secret talks with China to explore the feasibility of digging a tunnel under the Kerch Strait. Such a project would be expensive, technically difficult, and dangerous because of the seismic activity in the region. It would also take years to complete, should Moscow and Beijing attempt such folly. But in the meantime, the United States can – and should – do more to supply Ukraine with the weapons necessary to severely undermine Russian military operations in Crimea,” the American General concluded. 

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