Truck bomb exploded over strategic Crimean bridge, key supply route for Russia

Truck bomb exploded over strategic Crimean bridge, key supply route for Russia

An explosion at the strategic bridge linking Russia to the Crimean peninsula on Saturday brought down sections of the highway and diverted traffic in one direction, prompting provocative messages from Ukrainian officials, but no direct claim of responsibility.

Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and the 12-mile bridge linking it to Russia’s transportation network was inaugurated with great fanfare by President Vladimir Putin four years later.

Now it represents a crucial supply route for Russian forces that have taken control of most of the Kherson region of southern Ukraine.

Russia’s National Antiterrorist Committee said on social media that the blast occurred at 6:07 a.m. when a freight truck exploded and caused seven fuel tank cars to catch fire on a train headed for the peninsula.

Said two sections of the road bridge had partially collapsed but that the arch that crosses the Kerch Strait, the waterway through which ships travel between the Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Azov, was not damaged.

Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian governor of Crimea, said on social media that the highway bridge was still intact in one direction, although traffic was suspended while the damage was assessed.

The Emergencies Ministry later said the fire had been extinguished, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported.

A Ukrainian presidential adviser posted a message on Twitter saying the incident was just “the beginning,” but stopped short of saying that Ukrainian forces were responsible for the blast.

“Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be expelled,” Mykhailo Podolyak wrote.

Putin has instructed the government to create a state commission to investigate the incident, the TASS news agency reported, citing Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Authorities have said the damage to the bridge is severe.

Interfax quoted the Chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea, Vladimir Konstantinov, as saying that “Ukrainian hooligans managed to reach the Crimean bridge with bloody hands.”

“Now they have something to be proud of,” he said. “In their 23 years of economic activity, they failed to build anything noteworthy in Crimea, but (now) they managed to damage the roadway of the Russian bridge.”

Konstantinov said the damage was “not of a serious nature” and would be quickly repaired.

The head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, Oleksiy Danilov, posted a video of the burning bridge on social media along with a video of Marilyn Monroe singing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President.”

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.