+++ News in the Ukraine war +++: Explosions on the Crimean bridge

Ukraine has attacked the bridge to Russia-annexed Crimea. The grain deal between the countries remains in limbo.

The Crimean Bridge on Monday morning, July 17, 2023

Target of a Ukrainian “special operation”: the bridge to Crimea Photo: Reuters/stringer

Ukraine responsible for explosions on Crimean bridge

After explosions on the bridge to the annexed Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, Russia officially spoke of an “act of terrorism”. The Russian Anti-Terrorism Committee said the bridge was attacked by surface drones early Monday morning. Moscow blamed Ukrainian secret services.

Ukraine according to media reports. According to information from Kyiv, the navy and Ukrainian special forces are behind the attack on the bridge between Russia and the annexed Crimean peninsula. The attack was a “special operation” by the Ukrainian domestic secret service SBU and the Navy, AFP learned on Monday from SBU circles. Naval drones were used in the attack on the bridge between Russia’s Krasnodar region and the peninsula.

A couple died in the blasts, according to the Russian government. The 14-year-old daughter was injured, reports the AP news agency.

The train tracks on the bridge were not damaged. Rail traffic has resumed operations between mainland Russia and the illegally annexed Ukrainian Black Sea Peninsula. The Crimean authorities said a train left the Crimean capital Simferopol for the southern Russian region of Krasnodar with a delay of around five hours on Monday morning. However, car traffic over the 19-kilometer-long structure remained suspended.

Earlier this morning, Russian authorities reported an “emergency” on the Crimean Bridge, resulting in the death of two people in their car. There was talk of an explosion on social networks, but there was initially no official confirmation. Photos and videos showed damage to the roadway. The Russian Ministry of Transport announced that the bridge construction was still intact.

A photo of the damage on the bridge

bridge damage Photo: via ap/Ostorozhno Novosti

Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, has repeatedly been the target of drone attacks. Ukraine has announced that it will liberate its entire territory as part of a counter-offensive. (dpa/rtr/afp/ap)

Grain deal in the balance

The United Nations (UN) brokered grain deal between Ukraine and Russia remains in limbo. The agreement, which allows for the safe export of Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea, was not renewed on Sunday. “We are waiting for Moscow’s position, everything is possible,” reports the Russian state news agency TASS, citing people from UN circles familiar with the matter. The deal expires on Monday. (rtr)

🐾 Income tax revenue increased in Ukraine

Ukraine’s income tax revenue increased during the war. In 2020, the sum totaled the equivalent of 11.5 billion euros. Revenues of 14.6 billion euros are expected for the current year. According to economic experts, this is due to the increased tax revenue from more soldiers. The municipalities want the money to renovate public soccer fields or roads, for example. But the pressure from the population is high that the income should be spent on other things in times of war, writes Yuri Konkevich from Lutsk. (taz)

Baerbock calls for reform of international law

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is committed to reforming international law so that perpetrators of a war of aggression, such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, can be held accountable. “No one can wage aggressive wars in the 21st century and remain unpunished,” demanded the Green politician on Sunday before a trip to New York. There she wants to take part in a ceremony at the United Nations (UN) to mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“In the eyes of the perpetrators, the ICC is already a sharp sword,” said Baerbock. In the eyes of the victims, he is the hope that their suffering will not go unpunished. “That’s why a gap in law enforcement is particularly painful,” said the minister. In the case of crimes of aggression against “the most precious asset we have: our peace”, the hurdles for prosecution are still too high.

During a visit to the seat of the court in The Hague, Netherlands, in January, Baerbock had already proposed changing its legal basis – the Rome Statute – so that the offense of aggressive war could also be prosecuted without restriction. It should be sufficient if the victim state of an aggression falls under the jurisdiction of the court. Currently, only the UN Security Council can refer the case to the court, as neither Russia nor Ukraine are contracting parties. As a permanent member, Russia has a right of veto in the Security Council. (dpa)

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