Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday that the Kerch Bridge connecting Russia to Crimea serves as a lifeline for Moscow's invasion and must be neutralized.
“The Crimean bridge, this is not just a logistical road, this is the road used to feed the war with ammunition, and this is being done on a daily basis,” Zelensky told the Aspen Security Forum, where he appeared by video.
Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 in a move that Ukraine, its allies and various international bodies condemned as illegal. Zelensky characterized the bridge as an extension of that Russian offense, calling it "an enemy facility built outside the law, outside international laws and all applicable norms."
“So understandably this is our objective," he continued. "Any target that is bringing war, not peace, must be neutralized."
The Ukrainian president also reiterated his government’s objective is to “reclaim the whole of the Crimea.”
“It's our sovereign territory, an unalienable part of our nation,” he said.
More background: Ukraine has claimed responsibility for an attack that killed two people and wounded a third on the Crimean bridge earlier this week.
The nearly 12-mile crossing is the longest in Europe and holds huge strategic and symbolic importance for Moscow.
Monday’s attack was the second on the bridge since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, after a fuel tanker exploded while crossing it in October.
A source in Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) told CNN the most recent attack was a joint operation of the SBU and Ukraine’s naval forces. And earlier this month, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister made what appeared to be the clearest admission yet that Ukrainian forces were also responsible for the October attack.