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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

US played ‘critical role’ in Crimean Bridge terror attacks – Seymour Hersh

Ukraine used American technology for the second strike, a source has told the renowned journalist

Washington enabled both Ukrainian attacks on the Kerch Bridge, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh claimed on Thursday. “The Biden administration’s role in both attacks was vital,” he declared on his Substack.

“Of course it was our technology,” an American official told Hersh, referring to the drone that damaged the bridge on July 17. “The drone was remotely guided and half submerged–like a torpedo.”

Read more: US drone locked weapons on Russian jets – Moscow

Hersh did not identify his source, but his latest post was described as a look at recent events in Ukraine “from the point of view of those in the American intelligence community who don’t feel they have the ear of President Joe Biden but should.”

Asked if the US intelligence community considered the possibility of Russian retaliation for the bridge attack, Hersh’s source replied, “we don’t think that far.”

“Our national strategy is that [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky can do whatever he wants to do. There’s no adult supervision,” he added.

A truck bomb exploded on the Crimean Bridge in early October 2022, killing three civilians. The bridge was seriously damaged and required months of repairs. The July drone attack killed two people and orphaned a 14-year-old girl, who barely survived.

Kiev celebrated both attacks, but officially denied any responsibility. US intelligence quickly attributed the October truck bombing to Ukrainian intelligence, however. The head of Ukraine’s main intelligence agency, the SBU, finally took credit for the blast earlier this week.

Read more: Kremlin reveals details of Russia-Africa summit

Washington has supposedly asked Kyiv not to use US-provided weapons to strike Russian territory, but insists that Crimea – as well as the regions of Kherson, Zaporozhye, Donetsk and Lugansk – are actually Ukrainian territory and therefore legitimate targets. This amounts to “complete permissiveness” for Kiev and risks escalating the conflict,  Russia’s ambassador to the US warned in January.

Russia retaliated for the July bridge attack by targeting port facilities in Odessa. The so-called Black Sea “grain deal” enabling Ukraine to export corn and sunflower seeds, mainly to the EU, was also terminated in the aftermath of the attack.

Odessa’s exports also included “illegal stuff like drugs and the oil that Ukraine was getting from Russia,” according to the US official who spoke to Hersh.

Hersh’s source also complained that Washington is doubling down on support for Kiev, most recently trying to buy a ten-year supply of 155mm artillery shells from Pakistan. Ukraine is “running out of that ammunition, and we’re low on it,” Biden told CNN recently, attempting to justify the delivery of cluster bombs to Kiev as a stopgap measure.

The US has “no real idea of what Zelensky and his crowd are thinking,” the official added, asserting that the Ukrainian leader “has no plan, except to hang on.” He also speculated that US support for Kiev is due to “Zelensky’s knowledge of Biden, and not just because he was taking care of Biden’s son” Hunter.