‘The war is escalating day by day’ – Hungarian security expert issues warning after Crimean bridge attack

In this handout photo taken from video released by the Investigative Committee of Russia on Monday, July 17, 2023, investigators work on the Crimean Bridge connecting the Russian mainland with the Crimean Peninsula over the Kerch Strait, not far from Kerch, Crimea. (Source: Investigative Committee of Russia via AP)
By John Cody
4 Min Read

After two explosions rocked the bridge connecting Russia to the Crimean peninsula In the early hours of Monday, one prominent Hungarian security expert is now warning that the war is quickly escalating on a near-daily basis.

“It seems that the war is escalating day by day. What is impossible today will be possible tomorrow,” said György Nógrádi, who is a professor, economist, military science scholar, and expert on security policy.

Nógrádi, while speaking to Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet, stated that it was his belief that the Ukrainian counteroffensive has faltered up until now and that the attack on the Kerch Bridge in Crimea may have something to do with this setback.

“The bombing may have happened because of the growing international voices that Ukraine should finally show success in the war,” said the Hungarian expert.

He warned that Russia will now respond in turn, and much of that also depends on whether Ukraine receives F-16 jets.

“If Ukraine receives aircraft capable of transporting nuclear bombs as aid, then they will react accordingly. And if the Ukrainians deploy their cluster bombs, they will use them too,” said Nógrádi

The president of the Crimean legislature said that the railway connection was not damaged and that Russian traffic can still make it to the peninsula.

Other Hungarian experts are also speculating what was behind the attack on the bridge, which is not only a symbol of Crimea but also of special logistical importance to the Russians in terms of military and civilian freight.

“Considering the fact that the Ukrainian attack promised from spring to summer has at least stalled — and may not even happen — now the Ukrainians are most likely trying such diversionary actions,” said security policy expert József Horváth.

“After the NATO summit disappointed them, where the Ukrainians did not get their expected results, i.e., that they would be called into NATO, they want to prove the effectiveness of both their army and the intelligence services,” he said. “The other tactical purpose may be to make it difficult for the Russians to provide military and other logistical support via land.”

The expert further stated that the Ukrainian military leadership has repeatedly emphasized that the Kerch Bridge is a key strategic target. According to Kyiv, one step towards an attack on the Crimean Peninsula would be to cut the land connection with Russia to make it difficult to supply the army.

Following the explosions on the bridge, Russia signaled it was ending the grain deal that has kept grain flowing across the Black Sea. There are now fears that a global grain crisis could erupt if the Russian government rejects a renewal of the agreement, which has kept transport ships safe from interference while transporting grain to other countries.

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