Adversarial Infrastructure: The Crimean Bridge

By Anna Engelhardt, 7 July 2020
Image: The Crimean Bridge (detail). Anna Engelhardt, 2020

Covid-19 relentlessly exposes the destructive preconditions of capitalism today. But states which 'make work and let die' on a pandemic scale as they systematically murder Black people have at last begun to encounter the resistance they deserve. The movement to end the racist carceral state targets its core institutions: prisons, deportation centres, police stations, as well as key nodes in the logistics and transport infrastructure – the ports, freeways and bridges by which circulation is managed. As the June insurrection grew in the US and solidarity protests spread internationally, tactical innovations were exchanged across struggles. The anti-cop slogan 'Fuck 12' appeared on Minneapolis storefronts alongside the Hong Kong protestors' maxim 'Be like water'. Water itself has more than one state, however, and there is more than one imperialist behemoth in the world, more than two dimensions of power. Presenting her recently launched Crimean Bridge project, Anna Engelhardt offers a case study of infrastructural domination and subversion in which water not only flows but freezes, posing the question of what role ecological processes and non-human actors might play in the struggles to come


On November 25, 2018, ten Russian coast guard vessels attacked three Ukrainian ships as they were entering the Azov Sea via the Kerch Strait. Local residents heard the incoming helicopters and military aircraft just as the voice of Russian state hysteria reached citizens across the country – all TV channels proclaimed “Ukraine tries to provoke war”.[1] This attack was the first official act of Russian military aggression against Ukraine since the start of the war in 2014 when Russia used proxy militaries to seize a vast swathe of land in Crimea and East Ukraine, while denying it had a military presence in the area. Russian authorities did not deny the Kerch Strait attack; instead, they broadcast news of the attack on TV and in newspapers, but without providing adequate historical or political context. Twenty-four Ukrainian sailors were captured and prosecuted for making their regular journey back to the port of Mariupol, giving rise to wild speculations in Western media about the geopolitical reasons behind their detainment.[2]

This investigation does not speculate further on the logics of Russian imperialism. Instead, I want to focus on the Crimean Bridge, a project of colonial infrastructure consistently overlooked in mainstream accounts of the event, but which arguably functions as the crux of the conflict. I propose the term ‘Adversarial Infrastructure’ to subvert the conventional understanding of bridges as connectors, objects of linkage that function as counterpoints to walls and borders, the emblematic instruments of territorial disconnection and delimitation. Indeed, bridges exist within the social imagination as symbols of unity and peace, standing in contrast to violent images of separation evoked by border walls. This project seeks to problematise this singular image through a close reading of the Crimean Bridge.

The bridge as a wall: unravelling Adversarial Infrastructure

The Crimean Bridge is the material manifestation of the Russian annexation of Crimea. It was designed as a mega-project to catalyse a Russian nationalist uprising in the region and to make the annexation process irreversible. Ultimately, the bridge provides a privileged vantage point from which to observe and unpack the logic of Russian settler-colonial violence. By foregrounding the functional and ideological utility of the bridge, it is possible to understand the 2018 attack as part of a strategic programme of violence enacted in Crimea – including, but not limited to, economic blockade, ecological damage, and population displacement.

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Map of the Crimean Peninsula and the Kerch Strait. Anna Engelhardt, 2020

The Crimean Bridge complex, initiated in 2003 and finished in 2019, brought about a transformational turn in the politics of the area. This bridge acts as a connector, stitching the Crimean Peninsula to Russian territory to facilitate the expansion of settler-colonialism while enabling a new border regime. This ‘bridge-as-border’ interrupts various ecological and logistical flows that take place in the Kerch Strait, thereby disrupting Ukrainian harbours in the Azov Sea with a de facto economic blockade, a move that I will address in greater detail later.

Speaking at Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference in 2016, Mark Zuckerberg helpfully demonstrated the instrumental role the figure of the bridge performs in the neoliberal ethos of Silicon Valley when he proclaimed: “Instead of walls, we can help people build bridges”.[3] While the association between peace and bridge projects is already deeply contested in critical logistical studies, the binary opposition between bridges and walls still pervades the field. Logistics is too often understood as the ‘capacity to move goods’, essentially providing the key support architecture for the planetary flux of materials and commodities and therefore playing an antagonistic role to the logics of disruption.[4] Even though there have been several successful attempts to contest this figuring of logistics as singularly dedicated to flow, a more radical shift in perspective is needed to bring the interruption of flow to the forefront, as might be achieved via a dissection of the Israeli logistics apparatus directed against Palestine[5] or an analysis of the logistics of counterinsurgency.[6] It is productive, therefore, to enrich critical logistical studies with critical border studies. In the latter, the idea of the border as an unsurpassable wall has been questioned for many years.[7] To unite these approaches, ‘Adversarial Infrastructure’ aims to capture the defining logic of contemporary mobility regimes – what Salter defines as a new form of logistics that does not guarantee the mobility of any actor but instead brings about their restriction.[8] This restrictive logistics seeks to render actors (im)mobile while disguising political repression as a set of technical or economic limitations.[9]

Diagram of functions, constitutive for Adversarial Infrastructure. Anna Engelhardt, 2020

The term ‘adversarial’, as I am using it, derives from machine learning methods. Adversarial machine learning is based on the idea that algorithms can learn via competition. Adversarial neural networks consist of two networks that are designed to be antagonistic to one another. Even though their functions are programmed to oppose each other, their mutual entrapment in a looped contest strengthens the neural network as a whole. This same capacity defines Adversarial Infrastructure: while divergent functions may appear to create friction and technical problems for each, when taken together they actually strengthen the infrastructure’s overall capacity to inflict harm. Adversarial Infrastructure facilitates flow but also blocks and disrupts and this heterogeneity of functions allows one to mask the other whenever required. Adversarial Infrastructure weaponises logistical infrastructure’s “capacity to contain and connect” against a single enemy of empire. A colonial regime is installed by producing “movement for some through containment of others”.[10] In the US, federal funds are used to construct “White roads through black bedrooms” and “clear out ‘slums’ and open up vast tracts of land”, while the Crimean Bridge facilitates extractivism in occupied land and economic blockades against Ukraine.[11]

Fenders/Clearance/Pillars: vertical border of proxy rupture

To gain insights into the vertical dimension of Adversarial Infrastructures, and the way the Crimean Bridge functions – concretely and epistemically – to simultaneously connect and block, we might follow Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson’s formulation of the border ‘as a method’.[12] Adversarial Infrastructure represents the military logics of the Russian state with what I call “proxy rupture” – a blockade that is deprived of the notion of inside and outside. It does not aim to contain actors or prevent them from entering, rather creates a breach in their movement. Just as the proxy wars waged by the Russian state enable a plausible deniability of their military intent, the proxy rupture disguises the terms of engagement, making its logic almost impossible to interrogate or contest. 

Diagram of the selective filtering performed by the Crimean Bridge. Anna Engelhardt, 2020

The proxy rupture renders the state’s political motives invisible by translating military strategy into technical and environmental forms. For example, the bridge clearly acts as a physical blockade to ships passing through to the Azov sea. However, the Russian government claims that a ship ‘simply’ cannot fit within the minimum clearance height to pass. In its function as naval blockade the Crimean Bridge is designed to be less prone to the weaknesses of classical military tactics of blockade. With its fenders and sophisticated security system, the bridge is more resilient to attacks than a blockade of floating vessels. The bridge’s fenders and pillars are less vulnerable to corrosion by water, while successfully interrupting and controlling the flow of the hydrological system. While pillars restrict the flow of the silt and ice on the surface and the bottom of the Strait, the bridge’s clearance limits the size of the ships that can pass freely.

This range of vertical flow restrictions makes it evident that Adversarial Infrastructure operates through the politics of verticality; a three-dimensional weaponisation of volume that allows it to perform all its functions simultaneously without contradiction.[13] A comparison between the ways that control is established upon the flows that pass below the bridge makes this vertically distributed border regime evident. Waiting zones are being created in both Azov and Black Seas, where up to 300 cargo ships await approval to pass under the Bridge, while circulation above the Bridge continues unimpeded.[14] I claim that the level of the water surface is being governed under the rule of ‘differential inclusion’ as Mezzadra and Neilson describe it: the process of a “selective filtering of mobility” that is made possible by techniques such as the creation of “waiting zones through which the timing and tempo of migration can be more precisely regulated”.[15] Differential inclusion moves “beyond the binary inclusion/exclusion”; since both Azov and Black Seas are not Russian internal waters, there is no inside and outside that would be presented on the horizontal surface.[16] Even when granted the right of passage through these waters, a ship is not granted the right to inclusion within state territory. Instead, the inside and outside of the state are effectively presented on the vertical axis. Since the roads of the bridge are internal to Russian land, they are privileged and are not subject to the same invasive controls or interruption of flow. There is a stark difference between the temporal aspect of the policies: Ukrainian ships have to wait for several days and up to a week to pass, while Russian trains are able to move unimpeded at speeds of up to 70 km/h, facilitated by the immediate controls of a ‘smart border’.[17] As mobilities scholar Mimi Sheller argues: “if speed and movement is a commodity then delay is the control, ... with smart technologies … queues can be jumped, for others they are unavoidable.”[18] It brings a new dimension to Foucault’s observation that “vertical is not one of the dimensions of space, it is the dimension of power.”[19] In the case of the Crimean Bridge, the vertical is the dimension of both space and power.

Diagram of the politics of verticality reduced to the two-dimensional space. Anna Engelhardt, 2020

Russian geopolitical imaginaries ignore the vertical axes of the bridge by equating it either with the water or with the land underneath the bridge. “The territory is reduced to the area”, as political geographer Stuart Elden argues about the act of cartography, and the flattening of volume that occurs when geographical space is converted into a two-dimensional map.[20] Russia repeats, in this case, the narrative of The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,[21] considering that the delimitation of land is a primary consideration over the delimitation of seawaters. Its aim is not only to create a landmass but to contest “what certain geographical objects are held to be” in connection to it, so creating a border that would be harder to contest.[22] The fact that Russian land was created above the water is ignored – as if the bridge replaced the water of the Strait itself, and is qualitatively equivalent to it.

In 2003 Russia tried to annex Tuzla island, which is situated in the centre of the Kerch Strait, the middle ground between Russia and Crimea.[23] The inconvenient fact that Tuzla Island was Ukrainian was resolved through the Russian colonial imagination: the state claimed that the island was previously an extension of the Russian shoreline that had broken off. In this logic, separation urgently demanded reconnection to the Russian mainland. Ukraine granted Russia access to the Strait territorial waters to de-escalate the situation while maintaining control over the island. Following this, both countries shared an equal right of passage through the waters of the Strait, even though Ukraine had territorial sovereignty on both shores. Even the annexation of Crimea in 2014 did not change the status of the 2003 agreement. However, Russia began to disregard it when construction of the Crimean Bridge began in 2016, and it could claim ownership of the land above the waters by default. In the Russian colonial imaginary, access to the waters of the Strait became conflated with ownership of the Russian land lying above it. This is exactly what happened on 25 November, 2018, when Russian militaries claimed that Ukrainian vessels were trespassing and it seized the opportunity to attack.

The geological activities that occur between the seawater and the land, coupled with the juridical primacy of land over water, create the possibilities for a new ecological border to be formed through the process of sedimentation. The Crimean Bridge traps the silt that is held in suspension in the moving waters of the Kerch Strait, and has made the already-shallow Strait lose half of its depth in only four years.[24] This ongoing process means that the Crimean Bridge has major terraforming implications, with the potential to transform the Azov Sea into the Azov Lake. Because the difference between ‘lake’ and ‘sea’ lies in the way the land surrounds them, if the Strait between the Azov Sea and the Black Sea becomes replaced by new land, and the Kerch Strait becomes too shallow to sustain itself, Azov would not be considered as a sea. The Crimean Bridge, therefore, functions as a massive terraforming dam.

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Map of the Crimean Bridge terraforming potential. Anna Engelhardt, 2020

Roads and power junctions

The Russian colonial mission to expand its territory without increasing its accountability drives the state to invest in a “longevity of infrastructure […] as a promise of future gain.”[25] Declared to last for a century, its temporality is one of landmasses rather than of human-built structures. The Crimean Bridge is portrayed as simply a spectacular line of soil, one that would close the land discontinuity between Crimea and Russia. This perspective treats the Earth as immobile infrastructure, even though it is inherently dynamic – as dynamic as geopolitical territory. The constant circulation of territory and land is a silenced narrative, and as such typical of a colonial project. “Ostensibly ‘new’ territory has always come from somewhere else. As Charmaine Chua argues, this is as true of terraformed land as it is of its older precedents of colonialism and military conquest.”[26]

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Screengrab from the Crimean Bridge promotional video. Full version, YouTube,

One of the main strategies of settler colonialism is “to acquire land and to gain control of resources”.[27] The Bridge’s promotional campaign aims to make the viewer believe that the land for the Dam and other parts of the Bridge emerge from thin air. Apart from the visual narrative, this idea comes without any precise information about which mining sites were used to produce the ballast and sand required for construction; the land is being moved from an unspecified ‘somewhere else’.[28] In fact, a wave of new mining sites opened along the roads that follow the bridge into Crimea.[29] It is generally likely that the Crimean Bridge is made from materials extracted in Crimea, as it would be difficult to transport the supplies from one shore to another.[30] The “spectacular emergence of ‘new’ landmasses” is based on “extraction, erasure, and dispossession” and the Crimean Bridge is no exception.[31] Apart from their role in evictions and the destruction of vital ecological sites, roads made it possible for Russian businesses to extract economic resources from Crimea, pushing the peninsula’s already stagnant economy to the limit.[32]

The Crimean Bridge (rail)road performs the function of the classic ‘colonialists’ first ally’ – securing ‘the permanent way’ through which the colonial order is imposed.[33] “In ‘Railway Imperialism’, Ronald Robinson observes how ‘the railroad was not only the servant but also the principal generator of informal empire; in this sense imperialism was a function of the railroad’”.[34] To make the roads of the Crimean Bridge more effective for Russia’s settler-colonialist project, an extended network is being built into the whole Crimean Peninsula. Roads are essential for colonial regimes because of their capacity to ensure stable circulation of colonial military and economic resources. Nevertheless, roads are also engaged in the circulation of “regulations, constraints, and limits” where they are doing “vital political work” by “the very process of logistical provision”.[35] Political work in the form of taking responsibility for the wellbeing of the Crimean population has clearly failed, but political work in the form of jamming “regulations, constraints, and limits” into the body politic was more than successful.[36] This is important to consider in the case of the Crimean Bridge, because, at least as manifested in roads, one might argue that the bridge infrastructure is a failure. It is for example questionable to prioritise the construction of roads instead of installing an infrastructure that could provide water for the Peninsula, a region that has lacked water since the beginning of Russian occupation.[37] Indeed, Putin’s face appears everywhere on the local highways, calmly watching over the future Russian empire:

“The beginning of automobile and railroad movement of the bridgework crossing between Crimea and Caucasus is scheduled for 18 December, 2018. We must fulfil this historic mission.”

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Photo of one of the banners in Crimea. Varlamov,

The only future secured by the roads is that which profits “the local power constellations” that the colonial government sees “as beneficial”.[38] These networks are not limited to the nation-state, even though they are usually tightly connected to it – in some cases by intimate or family relationships, in others because they quite literally consist of the same people.[39] Contrary to critical logistical studies’ mainstream discourse, which tends to pitch capital and state against each other and treats only the latter as ‘a cop’,[40] this means that logistics is not “an instance of the state's loss of predominance”. This change in the framework, which unites state and capital into the integrated category of ‘political economy’,[41] is vital for understanding the Russian context without getting too trapped in the descriptive frames of state-based geopolitics. According to Eyal Weizman, “geopolitics is a flat discourse”, and not only in its ignorance towards what he has described as a ‘politics of verticality’.[42] It is flat because it does not consider other actors that Cowen and Smith review under the rubric of “geoeconomic social” – meaning the geopolitical “assemblage of territory, economy and social forms” that has been transformed so that the assumptions implied in a geopolitics conceived predominantly via the lens of the nation state, were recast.[43] The majority of big corporations in contemporary Russia have positions within the government, or are closely linked with it, while governmental bodies have their own separate private companies and offshore legal entities.[44] Furthermore, this approach complicates the standard narrative which describes the Russia-Ukraine conflict in the area as a set of gestures of aggression made by one nation-state to another.

This reductionist view could be complicated further, if one looks at the nation-states and private actors from the Global North. Even though these countries are supposed to be in confrontation with Russia, the latter has its own imperial interest in a number of colonies implicated in these conflicts.[45] In the case of the Crimean Bridge, a wide range of Western companies took part in its construction, explicitly profiting from and contributing to the project of Russian settler colonialism.[46] Indeed, Russian aggression towards Ukraine is framed in the West as if it was aggression towards the West directly, leaving Ukraine to function as an empty arena for the establishment of political interests. One such example is the list of sanctions presented by the US as the ‘Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act of 2019’, even though, among other issues, it aimed to tackle Russian aggression against Ukraine.[47]

Non-human counter-logistics

The concept of Adversarial Infrastructure problematises the singular image of the bridge-as-connector by reframing the Crimean Bridge as a logistical method of colonial violence. The colonial tactics of Adversarial Infrastructure operate through the disruption of flow, the appropriation of verticality, and by exerting control over human actors. This sophisticated exertion of power cannot be adequately addressed or contested through conventional counter-logistical strategies – to be loosely grouped into repurposing and disruption via blockades and sabotage.[48] As Jasper Bernes and Alberto Toscano both rightfully point out, appropriation and repurposing should always be attentive to the implied aims and logic of targeted logistics, meaning Adversarial Infrastructure must become a target for abolition rather than appropriation.[49]

Important as they are, we must recognise that blockades, occupations and strikes, like the recent ‘Juneteenth Stoppage’ in the port of Oakland, cannot easily be transposed onto the case of Adversarial Infrastructure.[50] As Charmaine Chua et al say, “Attempts at resisting or disrupting circulation can be co-opted, contained, or absorbed,” especially if the disruption of flow was, itself, one of the main purposes of the logistical infrastructure in question.[51] Thwarting the movement facilitated by the Crimean Bridge would, for example, lead to the strengthening of the Azov Sea blockade. The paradigm of proxy ruptures in part derives its strength from the imagined threat that human actors pose towards the bridge as a form of ‘critical infrastructure’. This public reconceptualisation of what are essentially ‘invasive infrastructures’ as ‘essential’ is a common sleight of hand performed in contexts of settler colonialism; and stymies a number of obvious strategies of stoppage and sabotage.[52] It might be possible, then, that the rupture created by the Crimean Bridge could instead be subverted through the exploitation of the politics of verticality – stretching our vision of occupation across the various dimensions of the bridge that it is clear the Russian state’s settler-colonial project also seeks to harness.

Historical instances where we can see an exploitation of verticality in this mode include the blockade performed by Greenpeace protestors in September 2019.[53] Here, activists hung from the Fred Hartman Bridge and successfully prevented the circulation of vessels carrying gas and oil through the Houston Ship Channel. This action could be reimagined as adequate to an engagement of both dimensions of Adversarial Infrastructure. Disrupting traffic on the Crimean Bridge impedes not only ships travelling to Ukrainian harbours but also cargo destined for Russian ports. Nevertheless, while Greenpeace activists could face up to two years of imprisonment for abuse of ‘critical infrastructure,’ the length of imprisonment one would face for a similar action on the Crimean Bridge can only be imagined. The average span of jail sentences faced by political prisoners in Crimea is 20 years and longer, as has been the case for Oleg Sentsov and numerous Crimean Tatars taken hostage by the Russian state, even without evidence of guilt.[54] Speaking from my activist experience, being involved in the blockade of the Crimean Bridge would be tantamount to certain imprisonment, with no hope of a life after any relevant action.

Still, it would remain productive to bring into consideration the last conventional counter-logistical strategy: disruption through sabotage. Sabotage has a long history in the Russian context: “the wreckers, who intentionally built badly so as to cultivate discontent (such that you had pre-sabotaged railroads built ‘in a wrecking manner’)”.[55] In the case of the Crimean Bridge, we can see that this is in fact a strategy adopted by the state itself, demonstrated by a long list of outrageous violations during the construction process, in strategic alliance with various private networks, such as the DEKO company who produced clothes from 1992 till 2015,[56] then suddenly switched specialisation to the construction of bridges and immediately got involved in the Crimean Bridge project, before disappearing altogether in 2019. Workers reported that DEKO not only paid no wages but also failed to give any guidance during their shifts, leaving them confused about what exactly they were supposed to be doing.[57]

The current Crimean Bridge is vulnerable to the threat of ice flow, a seasonal phenomenon that, in 1945, already destroyed its prior incarnation. The Krylov Research Centre, previously appointed to research the bridge’s resistance to ice flow, gained notoriety when earlier mega-projects it was tasked with directing failed.[58] Sabotage, conceived by Elizabeth Gurley Flynn as a “fine thread of deviation”, weaponises “the impossibly small difference between exceptional failures and business as usual, connected by the fact that the very same properties and tendencies enable either outcome. If we are to think of sabotage as a process that negates productivity, it’s a negation that can’t be disentangled from the structures of productivity itself.”[59] Following her argumentation, we can see that the border structures of the Crimean Bridge’s ‘productivity’ necessarily lead to the gradual negation of the bridge itself through their high potential for destruction. 

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Soviet soldier assembling an explosive to break up ice-jams under the Crimean Bridge, 1944

The rupture created by the bridge alters water flows and levels of salinity, two factors that actively reinforce ice formation in the area. These changed levels, enacted by the new border regime, are currently ignored because of the lack of detailed ecological data.[60] This demonstrates the ways in which non-human actors are rendered invisible to the state and capital once they are considered unprofitable for either weaponisation or extraction – “the thing over which humans struggle.”[61] It might be useful, then, to aim for an alliance with such non-human actors: an appropriate counter-logistical proposal might derive from the mobility of soil and ice as well as the broader network of non-human mobilities. The combination of fluid silt, meant to hold the bridge piles, and the seismic activity in the area is ‘silenced’ by official engineering norms implemented to enable the bridge’s construction, and which were formally prohibited by the previous version of the document.[62] Non-human mobilities can bring the powers of contingency into the supposedly guaranteed future of the authoritarian state, realised here in the presumed longevity of the Crimean Bridge. Non-human mobilities activate the idea that the “physical basis of the state”, the Crimean Bridge, “can be incrementally eroded”, not only expanded.[63] Ice was described by the Russian anarchist and geologist Pyotr Kropotkin as an invisible, unstoppable force crawling through Europe,[64] in a manner that resembles the ‘spectre of Communism’ which Marx famously discerned in The Communist Manifesto. This cold non-human spectre reminds us that networks of resistance might span beyond human actors, becoming powerful against and elusive for the modes of totalising control preferred by authoritarian regimes.


This essay forms part of practice-based research conducted for the Crimean Bridge project. It exists as a digital infrastructure currently presented at DEMO Festival, from 5-24 July 2020, and is permanently available through Gossamer Fog Gallery.

I would like to acknowledge Lorenzo Pezzani’s invaluable feedback framing the direction of my research and the Mute editorial team for helping me sharpen my arguments.

Anna Engelhardt < engelhardt AT > is a media artist, researcher, and writer based in London. Her main interests are the (de)colonial politics of algorithmic and logistical infrastructures in post-Soviet space


[1] Andrey, Riskin, ‘Ukrainian Naval Forces Provoke Russia for a “Big War” for Azov Sea’ (in Russian), Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 25 November, 2018,

[2] Sergey Goryashko and Natalia Pisnya, ‘Incident in the Kerch Strait’ (in Russian), BBC, 26 November, 2018,

[3] Mark Zuckerberg, ‘Instead of Walls We Can Help Build Bridges,' F8 developer conference at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, 2016,

[4] Among many, some sources that lean towards such understanding are: Jasper Bernes, ‘Logistics, Counterlogistics and the Communist Prospect.’ Endnotes, No. 3, September 2013,; Sergio Bologna, ‘Inside Logistics: Organization, Work, Distinctions.’ Viewpoint Magazine, 29 October, 2014,; Charmaine Chua, ‘Indurable Monstrosities’, FutureLand: Stories from the Global Supply Chain, 2018, pp. 140-162; Brett Neilson, ‘Five Theses on Understanding Logistics as Power’, Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory 13, No. 3, December 2012,  pp. 322–39; Craig Martin, ‘Desperate Mobilities: Logistics, Security and the Extra-Logistical Knowledge of ‘Appropriation’, Geopolitics, 17:2, 2012, pp. 355-376.

[5] Jake Alimahomed-Wilson and Potiker Spencer Louis, ‘The Logistics of Occupation: Israel’s Colonial Suppression of Palestine’s Goods Movement Infrastructure: THE LOGISTICS OF OCCUPATION’, Journal of Labor and Society 20, no. 4, December, 2017, pp. 427-47; R. Segal and E. Weizman (Eds.), A civilian occupation: The politics of Israeli Architecture, Tel Aviv/London: Babel/Verso, 2003; Francesco Serbregondi, ‘The Zone in Reverse’, Footprint, November, 2018, pp. 25-36,

[6] Laleh Khalili, ‘The Roads to Power: The Infrastructure of Counterinsurgency’. World Policy Journal 34, no. 1, 2017, pp. 93-99.

[7] Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson, Border as method, or, the multiplication of labor. Durham: Duke University Press, 2013.

[8] Mark B. Salter, ‘To Make Move and Let Stop: Mobility and the Assemblage of Circulation’. Mobilities 8, no. 1, February, 2013, pp. 7-19.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Deborah Cowen, ‘Infrastructures of Empire and Resistance’, Verso Blog, 25 January, 2017,

[11] Johnny Miller, ‘Roads to nowhere: how infrastructure built on American inequality,’ The Guardian, 2018,, quoted in Leopold Lambert, ‘Introduction’, Funambulist, no. 17, May-June, 2018.

[12] Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson, ibid.

[13] Stuart Elden, ‘Secure the volume: Vertical geopolitics and the depth of power.’ Political Geography, 2013.

[14] Andrii Klymenko, ‘Russian Federation Blockade of the Mariupol and Berdyansk Ports: trends and statistics.’ BlackSea News, 29 August 29, 2018,

[15] Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson, ‘Between Inclusion and Exclusion: On the Topology of Global Space and Borders’, Theory, Culture & Society, No. 29, 2012, pp. 58-75.

[16] Ibid.

[17] ‘Scanners to be Installed on the Approaches to the Crimean Bridge’ (in Russian), RIA, 18 March, 2019,

[18] Mimi Sheller, ‘Uneven Mobility Futures: A Foucauldian Approach’, Mobilities 11, no. 1, January 2016, pp. 15-31.

[19] Michel Foucault, ‘The force of flight’, in G. Moore (Trans.), 2007 [1973], in J. W. Crampton and S. Elden (Eds.), Space, knowledge and power: Foucault and geography, Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 169-172, quoted in Stuart Elden, ‘Secure the volume: Vertical geopolitics and the depth of power’, Political Geography, 2013.

[20] Stuart Elden, ‘Secure the volume: Vertical geopolitics and the depth of power’, ibid.

[21] The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), 1982.

[22] Caroline Humphrey, ‘“Warren” Theorizing the Contemporary’, Fieldsights, 24 October, 2017,

[23] Roman Woronowycz, ‘Russian-Ukrainian dispute over Tuzla escalates’, Kyiv Press Bureau, 2003,

[24] ‘New Threat to Shipping Emerged in Kerch Region’ (in Russian), Kerch FM, 29 January 29, 2019,

[25] Charmaine Chua, ‘Indurable Monstrosities’, FutureLand: Stories from the Global Supply Chain, 2018, pp. 140-162.

[26] Charmaine Chua, ‘“Sunny Island Set in the Sea”: Singapore’s Land Reclamation as a Colonial Project’, Funambulist Magazine, no. 17, May-June, 2018.

[27] Evelyn Nakano Glenn, ‘Settler Colonialism as Structure: A Framework for Comparative Studies of U.S. Race and Gender Formation’, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 1, no. 1, January, 2015, pp. 52–72.

[28] Charmaine Chua, ‘“Sunny Island Set in the Sea”: Singapore’s Land Reclamation as a Colonial Project’, ibid.

[29] Victorya Veselova, ‘Sacrifice to the Construction of the Century’ (in Russian), Radio Svoboda, 9 August, 2017,

[30] ‘Infocenter Told How Much Crimean Bridge Weighs’, (in Russian), RIA, 15 May, 2019,

[31] Charmaine Chua, ‘“Sunny Island Set in the Sea”: Singapore’s Land Reclamation as a Colonial Project’, ibid.

[32] ‘Crimean Administration Explains Price Increase After Bridge Opening Through Speculation and Lack of Governmental Control’ (in Russian), TASS, 25 October, 2018,

[33] Giulia Scotto, ‘Colonial and Postcolonial Logistics’, Footprint, November, 2018,

[34] Ronald E. Robinson, ‘Introduction: Railway Imperialism’, in Railway Imperialism, Clarence Baldwin Davis and Kenneth E. Wilburn (Eds.), New York: Greenwood Press, 1991 (2), quoted in Giulia Scotto, ‘Colonial and Postcolonial Logistics’, ibid.

[35] Laleh Khalili, ‘The Roads to Power: The Infrastructure of Counterinsurgency’, ibid.

[36] Michel Foucault, Security, Territory, Population, New York: Palgrave, 2009, quoted in Laleh Khalili, ibid.

[37] Ksenia Kirillova, ‘Consequences of Dramatic Water Shortage in Crimea Will Already Appear This Year – Vladimir Milov’, Krym.Realii, 12 July, 2019,

[38] Laleh Khalili, ‘The Roads to Power: The Infrastructure of Counterinsurgency’, ibid.

[39] ‘Hybrid Business in the Pay of Kremlin: Blocking Kerch Strait’, InformNapalm, 27 January, 2019,; Joshua Yaffa, ‘Putin’s Shadow Cabinet and the Bridge to Crimea’, New Yorker, 29 May, 2017,

[40] Alberto Toscano, ‘Lineaments of the Logistical State’, Viewpoint, no. 4, 2014,

[41] Jasper Bernes and Joshua Clover, ‘The Ends of State’, Viewpoint Magazine, 12 October, 2014,

[42] Eyal Weizman, ‘The politics of verticality’, OpenDemocracy, 2002,

[43] Deborah Cowen and Neil Smith, ‘After Geopolitics? From the Geopolitical Social to Geoeconomics’, Antipode, no. 41, 2009, pp. 22-48. 

[44] Vadim Volkov, Violent Entrepreneurs: the Use of Force in the Making of Russian Capitalism, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2002.

[45] Anna Engelhardt, ‘The Futures of Russian Decolonization’, Strelka Mag, 18 March, 2020,

[46] Alexandr Vedrussov, ‘Finally!’ (in Russian), Izvestya, 15 May, 2018,; ‘Dutch companies investigated for supplying equipment for Russian bridge’, DutchNews, 2017,

[47] ‘Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act of 2019’, US Senate, 2019.

[48] Jasper Bernes, ‘Logistics, Counterlogistics and the Communist Prospect’, ibid; Charmaine Chua, ‘Indurable Monstrosities’, ibid; C. Chua, M. Danyluk, D. Cowen and L. Khalili, ‘Turbulent circulation: Building a critical engagement with logistics, Environment and Planning, D Society & Space (print), Volume: 36 issue: 4, 2018, pp. 617-629; Alberto Toscano, ‘Logistics and Opposition’, Mute Vol 3, issue 2, 2011, .

[49] Jasper Bernes, ‘Logistics, Counterlogistics and the Communist Prospect’, ibid; Alberto Toscano, ‘Logistics and Opposition’, ibid.

[50] Shwanika Narayan and Roland Li, ‘Port of Oakland shut down by dockworkers in observation of Juneteenth,’ San Francisco Chronicle, 19 June, 2020, My thanks to Mute editor, Pauline van Mourik Broekman, for bringing this stoppage to my attention.

[51] C. Chua, M. Danyluk, D. Cowen and L. Khalili, ‘Turbulent circulation: Building a critical engagement with logistics’, ibid.

[52] Anne Spice, ‘Fighting Invasive Infrastructures: Indigenous Relations against Pipelines’, Environment and Society, Vol. 9, issue 1, 1 September, 2018, pp. 40-56.

[53] Nicholas Kusnetz, ‘Texas Charges Oil Port Protesters Under New Fossil Fuel Protection Law,’ InsideClimate News, 19 September, 2019, My thanks to Santiago Rivas for kindly bringing this to my attention.

[54] Shaun Walker, ‘Russian court jails Ukrainian film-maker for 20 years over terror offences,’ The Guardian, 25 August, 2015,; ‘Ukraine: Escalating Pressure on Crimean Tatars. 23 Activists Arrested on “Terrorism’ Charges”’, Human Rights Watch, 2 April, 2019,

[55] Evan Calder Williams, ‘Manual Override’, The New Inquiry, 21 March, 2016,

[56] Ekaterina Pogudina, ‘“Do We Owe You?” Workers of the Crimean Bridge Were Not Paid’ (in Russian), Radio Svoboda, 8 July, 2019, ; Eli Belenson, ‘The Kerch Bridge. Chronics of the upcoming tragedy. Notes from the hydrogeologist’ (in Russian), Facebook, 9 October, 2018,

[57] Lyubov Loban, Lyubov, ‘How Belarus Workers Got Fooled on the Crimean Bridge’, (in Russian), 9 January, 2018,

[59] Elithabeth G. Flynn, Sabotage: The Conscious Withdrawal of the Workers' Industrial Efficiency, Cleveland, OH: IWW Publishing Bureau, 1916, in Evan Calder Williams, ‘Manual Override,’ ibid.

[60] Mykhailo I. Romashchenko, Mykhailo V. Yatsiuk, Sergiy А. Shevchuk, Viktor I. Vyshnevskyi, Dmytro P. Savchuk, ‘About Some Environmental Consequences of Kerch Strait Bridge Construction’, Hydrology, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2018, pp. 1-9.

[61] Juanita Sundberg, ‘Diabolic Caminos in the Desert and Cat Fights on the Río: A Posthumanist Political Ecology of Boundary Enforcement in the United States–Mexico Borderlands’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 101, issue 2, 2011, pp. 318-336.

[62] Eli Belenson, ‘The Kerch Bridge. Chronics of the upcoming tragedy. Notes from the hydrogeologist’, ibid.

[63] Joshua Comaroff, ‘Built on Sand: Singapore and the New State of Risk.’ Harvard Design Magazine, no. 39, 2015, quoted in Charmaine Chua, ‘“Sunny Island Set in the Sea”: Singapore’s Land Reclamation as a Colonial Project’, ibid.

[64] Pyotr Kropotkin, Memoirs of a Revolutionist, Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1899.