Russia accused Ukraine on Saturday of trying to launch a “terrorist strike” on the Crimean Bridge with an S200 missile, adding that it was shot down.
“Today, the Kiev regime attempted to launch a terrorist strike on the Crimean bridge via an S200 air defense guided missile, which was converted into an offensive version,” the Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
The statement added, “The Ukrainian missile was immediately detected and intercepted in the air by Russian air defense systems, and there were no damages or casualties”.
For his part, the President of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, said on Telegram on Saturday that two missiles were shot down, stressing that there was no damage to the bridge.
The Ukrainian authorities haven’t commented on the Russian accusations, however, the Ukrainian official news agency, Ukrinform, posted a photo showing heavy smoke on both sides of the bridge, accompanying it with a sarcastic note: “We would like to remind the invaders that smoking is harmful to the health and safety of illegally built bridges”.
The Russian Defense Ministry had said earlier that its forces had thwarted a missile attack by Ukraine on the 19-kilometer-long bridge linking Crimea to Russia via the Kerch Strait.
The Russian Defense Ministry added that the Russian forces also shot down a number of Ukrainian drones that targeted the peninsula.
Crimean transport authorities said on their Telegram channel that traffic was suspended for about two hours on the Crimean Bridge from 1:30 am (2230 GMT).
The Crimean Bridge connects Crimea with the Krasnodar region of Russia.
Drone attacks on Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine and the Russian hinterland have increased since the destruction of a drone over the Kremlin in early May.
Ukraine has never claimed responsibility for those attacks, but says the destruction of Russian infrastructure is crucial to its counter-offensive against Russian forces.
Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, eight years before Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year.
The Russian Ministry of Defense said via Telegram on Saturday, that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu inspected the garrisons of the Northern Fleet in the isolated Arctic region.
The Russian Ministry of Defense said that a group of Russian warships went to sea to perform missions in the Arctic region of the Arctic Ocean.
Russian Army fired four Kinzhal hypersonic missiles on Saturday at the Ivano-Frankivsk region in western Ukraine, three of which landed near a military airport and in a residential area.
The Ukrainian Air Force said the fourth missile was shot down by air defenses.