When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch
FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

A Closer Look At The Special Sea Drones Used To Pull Off The Crimea Bridge Attack

The Crimean bridge was attacked in the pre-dawn hours by two Ukrainian sea drones, the Russian National Anti-Terrorist Committee reported. The attack has impressed military analysts who spoke with Russian independent media agents.media (Agenstvo) about the weapons used and the potential next target.

image of a  helicopter extinguishing a fire on a bridge linking Crimea to mainland Russia.​

October 8, 2022, Kerch, Russia: A helicopter extinguishes a fire on a bridge linking Crimea to mainland Russia.


Ukrainian sources were quick to claim responsibility for a deadly overnight attack on the Kerch bridge, which connects Crimea to the mainland, a crucial transport and supplies hub for Russian troops in Ukraine. This is the second attack on the bridge in less than a year, following an explosion in October that killed five and caused damage to key sections of the bridge.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

According to Russia's National Anti-Terrorist Committee, the strike early Monday was carried out by Ukrainian sea drones, unmanned weapons also known as surface drones. Multiple Russian Telegram channels, Ukrainian sources in the special services, and analysts interviewed by Agenstvo all corroborate the use of these weapons.

The Ukraine war has already seen extensive use of drones. But the use of these these obscure unmanned "sea drones," used to attack the symbol of Russia's annexation of Crimea, is a taking the tactic to another level.

To military experts Kirill Mikhailov and Yuri Fedorov, the attack on the Kerch bridge shows that Ukrainian sea drones can now hit any target in the Black Sea. They believe that the drones were launched from the Ukrainian-controlled part of the Black Sea coast. This means that the drones traveled about 700 kilometers.

Unrestricted range 

"It is quite impressive that they can go around the whole of Crimea and attack from the opposite side of the peninsula,” Mikhailov said. “I believe that within the theater of military operations encompassing the Black Sea, their range is unrestricted."

According to Fedorov, the fact that the drones might have traveled such a distance suggests that they are capable of carrying a significant amount of fuel.

“It is also possible that the weapons are equipped with satellite communications or have a built-in navigation system, and, as they approach the bridge, they can activate a locator or an optical device to reach its target,” he said.

Since the fall of 2022, Ukraine has been carrying out naval drone strikes against Russian targets. According to some assessments, these devices can transport up to 200 kg (440 lbs) of cargo, attain speeds of up to 80 km/h (50 mph), and rely on the Starlink terminal for navigation.

"The Russian forces should have detected the vehicles using thermal images, radar, and sonar."

One of the most massive strikes was delivered on October 29, when seven sea drones attacked Sevastopol Bay, the base of the Black Sea Fleet.

The attack on Sevastopol showed that the Armed Forces of Ukraine possess four types of sea drones, all of which were improved during the war, according to OSINT analyst H I Sutton.

He refers to one of them as a second-generation maritime drone, while the other is an underwater unmanned vehicle called "Toloka TK-150."

Photograph of Ukrainian drone boat used to strike Sevastopol

September 2022: Photograph of Ukrainian drone boat used to strike Sevastopol

Telegram/Naval News

Next target?

"The Russian forces should have detected the vehicles using thermal images, radar, and sonar," Fedorov said. "The fact that the vessels approached undetected was either due to an oversight on the part of the Russian military or insufficient monitoring of the water area."

Mikhailov adds that creating physical barriers in the water is necessary to protect against marine drones.
“Judging by the fact that the Russians have set up barriers in Sevastopol Bay, radar alone will not do the trick,” he said.

According to both experts, the attack on the Crimean bridge will not impact the logistical support for Russian troops on the front lines, as their supplies are primarily transported by rail. This might mean that the Ukrainian Armed Forces will continue to strike the bridge to hit the rail infrastructure.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


Geert Wilders, The Europe Union's Biggest Problem Since Brexit

The victory of Geert Wilders' far-right party in this week's elections in the Netherlands shows that politics in Europe, at both the national and European Union level, has fundamentally failed to overcome its contradictions.

Geert Wilders, The Europe Union's Biggest Problem Since Brexit

A campaign poster of Geert Wilders, who leads the Party for Freedom (PVV) taken in the Hague, Netherlands

Pierre Haski

Updated Nov. 28, 2023 at 6:15 p.m.


PARIS — For a long time, Geert Wilders, recognizable by his peroxide hair, was an eccentric, disconcerting and yet mostly marginal figure in Dutch politics. He was known for his public outbursts against Muslims, particularly Moroccans who are prevalent in the Netherlands, which once led to a court convicting him for the collective insulting of a nationality.

Consistently ranking third or fourth in poll results, this time he emerged as the leader in Wednesday's national elections. The shock is commensurate with his success: 37 seats out of 150, twice as many as in the previous legislature.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

The recipe is the same everywhere: a robustly anti-immigration agenda that capitalizes on fears. Wilders' victory in the Netherlands reflects a prevailing trend across the continent, from Sweden to Portugal, Italy and France.

We must first see if Wilders manages to put together the coalition needed to govern. Already the first roadblock came this week with the loss of one of his top allies scouting for coalition partners from other parties: Gom van Strien, a senator in Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) was forced to resign from his role after accusations of fraud resurfaced in Dutch media.

Nonetheless, at least three lessons can be drawn from Wilders' far-right breakthrough in one of the founding countries of the European Union.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest