The Kremlin vowed retaliation, and an official claimed that the damage was minor and that traffic would not be affected much by the strike.
Media reported that long-range missiles of British-French origin hit and damaged a major motor bridge in Crimea, today, Thursday, June 22, in the latest Ukrainian attack against vital Russian military logistical routes.
Local residents reported three explosions at around 5 am on the E105 highway near the town of Chonhar.
Official Russian and independent photos on social media from the scene of the accident showed that a single missile directly hit the main highway creating a two-meter-wide crater, exposing reinforcing bars and shattered supports. There were no reports of injuries.
The Russian TV channel Izvestia reported that a second weapon scored only a partial hit on the main bridge, where the main force of the projectile caused a five-meter-wide crater in the mud and silt next to the bridge structure.
A third explosion, according to some reports, occurred on an older secondary bridge parallel to E105. Pictures of the main and secondary roads showed a sagging road where the rockets landed.
Volodymyr Saldo, a senior Russian official in the Kherson region, recorded a video of his morning visit to the strike site. He acknowledged the damage and said that the weapons that targeted the bridge were British Storm Shadow missiles.
Russia’s Telegram channel Readovka and other platforms posted images of weapon wreckage with a serial number plate purporting to show that at least one of the weapons was manufactured in France. The French version of the missile was designated SCALP-EG (Système de croisier Conventionale autonome à longue portée – Emploi General). Paris has supplied weapons to Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February 2022, but has never publicly announced that it will be sending Ukraine SCALP-EG, its version of Storm Shadow.
The very low-flying Storm Shadow / SCALP-EG missile has a striking range of about 300 km. The closest possible launch sites for the long-range weapon currently available to Ukraine are about 150 kilometers from Chonhar.
Aside from Storm Shadow, Ukraine operates long-range strike kamikaze drones with payloads too light to destroy a bridge. Ukraine also possesses a few older surface-to-surface missiles such as the Hrim and Tochka-U, which, while having similarly powerful warheads to the Storm Shadow, use very inaccurate guidance systems to hit a pinpoint target such as a bridge.