Putin took revenge for the Crimean bridge, Ukraine will act in response. Interview

October 11, 2022

The massive missile strikes carried out by the aggressor country of Russia on the whole territory of Ukraine on October 10 are an act of revenge by the Kremlin’s leader, Vladimir Putin, for the damaged Crimean bridge. In this way the occupier is trying to convince the Russians, who began to criticise him, that he is "strong and tough" in the war against the Ukrainian people.

Currently, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are suppressing artillery positions on the Russian territory. In the current situation, a political decision may be taken to retaliate against the territory of another aggressor country — Belarus. At the same time, Western partners are limited in their ability to provide Ukraine with anti-missile weapons. This opinion was expressed by the co-director of foreign policy programmes, coordinator of international projects of Razumkov Centre, military expert Oleksiy Melnyk in an exclusive interview for OBOZREVATEL.

— On October 10, the enemy launched missile attacks on all regions of our country, including Kyiv. Can this be considered Putin's revenge for the Crimean bridge?

— Undoubtedly, Putin's yesterday’s statement that the Ukrainian special services were behind the attack on the Crimean bridge was an announcement of what is happening.

— How long will it last? What is your prediction?

— I cannot predict how long it will last, but it is an act of revenge. Of course, his goal is to show not so much to Ukraine, because unfortunately it is difficult to surprise us, but to his own “patriotic public”, which has begun to criticise Putin for his indecision. He tries to show that he is very determined and very tough towards Ukrainians.

— All this time, the Ukrainian authorities have emphasised that they had no intention to strike the territory of the aggressor country. But now, in this situation, does it make sense to hit the positions where the enemy's firepower is concentrated?

— As far as I understand these statements, they concerned the non-use of US weapons — the weapons supplied to us by the United States. But this should not be taken as a refusal to hit targets on the territory of the Russian Federation. Moreover, it is already happening.

Ukraine responds to the strikes that are carried out from the territory of Belgorod, Kursk, and Bryansk regions of Russia, and this is confirmed on the ground. Ukraine is forced to suppress artillery positions from which they shell our territory.

The second issue, which Ukraine has so far refrained from, is striking targets on the territory of Belarus, which is also an aggressor country that supports the invasion. I think that the time has come when such a political decision can be made — to launch strikes against objects from which Russian missiles or aircraft are used from the territory of Belarus. This will not be a provocative, but a restraining signal for Lukashenka.

— Can these massive missile strikes convince the part of the European public that was hesitant about providing massive military aid to Ukraine? Can it influence not only the Russian audience, but also the European one, in our favour?

— I am not talking about any mental changes, but about the European capabilities. There are certain forces that are still wary of helping Ukraine, but even if they are persuaded, there are purely objective limits to how Europe can help us militarily, and how quickly.

— What we need the most now is anti-missile systems.

— That's what I'm talking about. There is no such "army surplus store" in Europe as in Russia. Putin said that you can go to such an "army surplus store" and take anything you need and as much as you need from the shelf. Although, of course, Russia also has problems with this now.

— The last question is about the effect of damage to the Crimean bridge for our counteroffensive. What is it like?

— It means creation of temporary difficulties in logistics. This will not affect them dramatically, because the bridge is only damaged, not completely destroyed. If Russia has logistical problems with transportation between the mainland and the occupied peninsula now, priority will be given to military cargo. Therefore, if transportation is affected or reduced, it will most likely be civilian cargo, not military.

Tetiana Haizhevska



Oleksiy Melnyk

Co-Director, Foreign Relations and International Security Programmes, Coordinator of International Projects

Born in 1962 in Khmelnytsty Rgn


Royal College of Defence Studies, London, UK (2007)

Air Field Operations Officer School, Biloxy, MS, US (2001)

Squadron Officer School, Montgomery, AL, US (1994)

Defence Language Institute, San Antonio, TX, US (1994)

Chernihiv Higher Military Air Force Academy, Ukraine (1984)


1980 – 2001 — Air Force Active Service (Cadet, Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander, Squadron Commander, Deputy Air Force Base Commander, Participant of two UN peacekeeping operations, Lt.Colonel (Ret)

2001 – 2004 — Razumkov Centre

2004 – 2005 — State Company Ukroboronservice

2005 – 2008 — Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, Head Organisational and Analytical Division — First Assistant to Minister of Defence

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