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Mark
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The Crimean bridge, as part of a militarised Russian strategy against Ukraine, transverses the logistics and logic of the blockade as it becomes materialised in logistical infrastructure. It allows the blockade to operate through a mobility regime that is masked by the “technical or economic questions” outlined earlier. Adversarial Infrastructure represents the military logics of the Russian state with the proxy rupture - a blockade that is deprived from the notion of inside and outside. Mimicking the proxy war as a favourite strategy of the Russian state, such rupture is almost impossible to contest. The political motives become invisibilise when they are reduced to technical obstacles, for example, claiming that a ship ‘simply’ cannot fit within the minimum clearance height to pass. Furthermore, the Crimean Bridge as a naval blockade is intended to be less vulnerable to the weaknesses of classical military tactics of blockade. With its fenders and sophisticated security system, the bridge is more resilient to attacks than blockading ships. Indeed, its fenders and pillars are less vulnerable to corrosion by the water, while successfully interrupting and controlling its flow. 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 under the bridge.  It blocked the access to the strait for the symbol of the capitalist globalisation - Panamax ships - as it cannot pass under it. But the Crimean bridge targets ships not only directly. It fuels siltation by catching silt that is passing with the water, so the already shallow strait loses the depth with the striking speed. New limitations for cargos’ draft are implemented and the number of accidents with the ships running ashore is unsurprisingly booming, resulting in stagnation of the harbors and cuts in dockers’ salaries, affecting also Russian ones.


This vertical variety of flow restriction makes evident that Adversarial Infrastructure operates through the politics of verticality, where it can perform all its functions simultaneously without contradiction (Elden 2013). A comparison between the ways that control is established upon the flows that pass below the bridge makes this verticality 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. 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 “selective filtering of mobility” that is made possible by techniques such as creation of “waiting zones through which the timing and tempo of migration can be more precisely regulated” (Mezzadra and Neilson 2012, 68). 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 (Mezzadra and Neilson 2012, 68). Even when granted with the right of passage through these waters, a ship will not be granted with the right to be included inside the state territory. Inside and outside of the state are presented on the vertical axis—since the roads of the bridge are internal to the Russian land, they are privileged and are not subject to the same invasive controls or interruption of flow. The temporal aspect  shows a stark difference between the policies: Ukrainian ships have to wait for several days, sometimes a week to pass, while once the railroad opens, Russian trains will be able to move unimpeded at speeds of up to 70 km/h, facilitated by the immediate controls of a “smart border”. “If speed and movement is a commodity then delay is the control, ... with smart technologies … queues can be jumped, for others they are unavoidable” (Sheller 2015). It brings a new dimension to the quote from Foucault “vertical is not one of the dimensions of space, it is the dimension of power” (Foucault 2007, 170 quoted in Elden 2013, 36).


In the case of the Crimean Bridge, the vertical is the dimension of both space and power.