Russia: a car bomb explodes on the Crimean bridge, a strategic axis for the Russian army against Ukraine

the essential
The strategic bridge connecting Crimea with Russian territory was the target of a car bomb this Saturday morning. This bridge is crucial for the Russian army in the war in Ukraine. Russia will launch an international investigation.

A car bomb started a major fire on the Crimean Bridge, the key infrastructure and symbol of the annexation of the eponymous Ukrainian peninsula, Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee announced on Saturday, without immediately accusing Ukraine. This bridge, built at great expense on the orders of Vladimir Putin, is mainly used to transport military equipment of the Russian army fighting in Ukraine.

“Today at 06:07 on the road part of the Crimea bridge (…) a car bomb exploded, which caused the fire of seven railway tanks going to Crimea”, the committee indicated, quoted by the Russian agencies. The Kremlin spokesman told the Ria Novosti agency that Vladimir Putin had ordered the formation of a government commission to establish the facts.

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? The explosion of the Kerch bridge in video.

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— (Little) Think Tank (@L_ThinkTank) 8 October 2022

According to the Anti-Terrorism Committee, two road lanes are damaged, but the arch of the bridge is not affected. The leader of the Crimean Assembly, the regional parliament installed by Russia, Vladimir Konstantinov condemned a coup “Ukrainian vandals”. If Ukraine is the cause of the fire and explosion on the Crimean bridge, it would be a rebuke to Russia that such crucial infrastructure so far from the front could be damaged by Ukrainian forces.

Latest video, Kerch bridge? pic.twitter.com/hoA2tjeJvk

— M|§F|T ???? (@am_misfit) 8 October 2022

Ukraine laughs, Russia reacts

Ukrainian officials have this Saturday multiplied mocking and ironic comments about the explosion without claiming responsibility. Russia responded, criticizing Ukraine’s response to the blast that damaged the Crimea bridge, a sign it said of Ukraine’s “terrorist nature.” “The Kiev regime’s reaction to the damage to civilian infrastructure demonstrates its terrorist nature,” Russian foreign affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

An important bridge for Russia

Russia has suffered a series of military setbacks since early September, with its troops forced to retreat in both the northeast and south of the country, particularly the Kherson region bordering Crimea, which Putin claims the annexation of of. The fire on the huge road and rail bridge connecting Russian-annexed Ukrainian Crimea and Russian territory has forced rail and road traffic to a standstill.

However, it is essential for the transport of people and goods to the peninsula, but also for the troops stationed in Ukraine. The bridge, inaugurated in 2018, spans the Kerch Strait and became the symbol of the annexation in 2014. Ukrainian forces were to attack this infrastructure or others in Crimea.

Russian military installations targeted

Several explosions have occurred in recent months at Russian military installations on the peninsula, likely the result of Ukrainian military operations, such as when the Djankoi military base was destroyed in August by the explosion of an ammunition depot, causing an exodus of tourists from the area. The Russian authorities have always been very tight-lipped about explanations regarding Djankoy and other similar incidents at weapons depots elsewhere in Russia, but close to the Ukrainian border. At Djankoï, Russia had finally recognized that it was a matter of “sabotage”, and the Russian army had admitted its responsibility weeks later.

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