Former NATO commander says Kerch Bridge explosion ‘very significant psychologically’
Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark on Sunday said the explosion that partially collapsed part of the Kerch Bridge, which connects Russia to Crimea, is “very significant psychologically” amid Moscow’s ongoing war in Ukraine.
“I think it’s very significant psychologically and politically,” Clark, a retired U.S. Army general, said of the bridge blast on CNN’s “GPS” with Fareed Zakaria.
“I think in terms of the military impact of it, it’s too early to know. It’s at least a marginal impact, but certainly not a significant blow to the — what Russia’s doing in Ukraine. Not yet. It will be the subject, no doubt, of continuing efforts by the Ukrainians,” the former NATO commander said.
The partial bridge collapse was reportedly caused when a truck exploded and ignited a passing train’s fuel tanks. The UK’s Defense Ministry said the attack is likely to be taken personally by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Russian leader on Sunday accused the Ukrainians of being behind the explosion and labeled the incident a “terrorist act,” though Ukraine has not officially claimed responsibility for the incident.
Former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen on Sunday said Putin is a “cornered animal” amid mounting losses in Ukraine and becoming “more and more dangerous” to the world.
Putin threatened using nuclear weapons if Russia is attacked during a high-profile speech last month, then the Kremlin proceeded to annex four regions of Ukraine.
Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, and the Kerch Bridge is now viewed by many Ukrainians as a symbol of Russia’s encroachment on the land.
Whether the damage to the bridge will heavily impact the transport of supplies or other logistics between Russia and Crimea is yet to be determined, as Moscow races to restore its supply lines.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.