Huge blast hits bridge linking Crimea and Russia. This is what we all know | CNN


2022-10-08 20:12:03


An enormous blast early Saturday has severely broken the one bridge connecting annexed Crimea to the Russian mainland, inflicting elements of it to break down.

The assault, which has disrupted main transport hyperlinks between mainland Russia and the annexed peninsula, not solely strikes a blow in opposition to Russia’s army effort in Ukraine, however can also be a psychological blow to Moscow and a serious propaganda victory for Kyiv.

The precise explanation for the explosion stays unclear. Russian officers mentioned a gas truck exploded, however two spans of the highway crossing within the course of Crimea seem to have collapsed. A subsequent hearth engulfed a prepare of gas vehicles on a separate a part of the bridge.

Pictures of the Kerch bridge posted on social media seem to indicate a portion of the roadway of the automobile and rail bridge had fallen into the waters under it. Flames may very well be seen burning from rail automobiles above.

Fuel tanks are ablaze and sections of the Kerch bridge are damaged in the Kerch Strait, Crimea, October 8, 2022.

Russia started setting up the large 19-kilometer (about 12-mile) bridge over the Kerch Strait, spending an estimated $3.7 billion, after Moscow illegally annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014. It was the bodily expression of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s goal to take over Ukraine and bind it to Russia eternally. The day it opened, he led a triumphant convoy over the bridge, driving a truck festooned with flags.

Russian President Vladimir Putin pictured at an opening ceremony for the bridge in 2018.

The bridge spans the Kerch Strait, which connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov, on which sit key Ukrainian ports, together with Mariupol. For Russia, the bridge symbolizes the bodily “reunification” of Crimea with the Russian mainland. The bridge carries a lot of Crimea’s wants – resembling gas and items – and has been used commonly to produce weapons and gas to Russian forces.

Ukrainian officers began responding to the fireplace with out immediately acknowledging that Ukraine was chargeable for the explosion, with lots of the responses triumphant.

The assault came about the day after Russian President Vladimir Putin turned 70, and Ukraine’s Secretary of the Nationwide Safety and Protection Council Oleksiy Danilov printed video of the bridge in flames, with an enormous part of the roadway collapsing into the water, alongside a parallel video of Marilyn Monroe singing “Blissful Birthday, Mister President.” Others on-line in contrast the bridge assault to Ukraine’s April sinking of the Russian Navy’s warship the Moskva.

In a short publish on its official Twitter account, the Ukrainian Ministry of Protection reacted to the explosion, saying: “The guided missile cruiser Moskva and the Kerch Bridge – two infamous symbols of Russian energy in Ukrainian Crimea – have gone down. What’s subsequent in line, Russkies?”

Among the many responses, the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine posted on Fb, “Air protection of the Russian Federation, are you sleeping?” alongside a video displaying a piece of the bridge’s highway that had been utterly destroyed.

Putin’s authorities scrambled to insist that the injury was below management and could be repaired rapidly. The state information company TASS averted the phrase “assault,” reporting {that a} staff of 380 responders, together with 90 items of apparatus, was dispatched to “eradicate the results of the emergency” on the bridge. The Russian Transport Ministry mentioned the railway part of the bridge, very important for deliver troops and tools for the battle effort, could be restored by Saturday night.

Putin instantly ordered a “authorities fee” to look at the Kerch Bridge “emergency” in Crimea, Russian state media TASS reported, including that the heads of Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Conditions and the Ministry of Transport are actually on the scene of the incident.

Russia officials have suggested the explosion was caused by a truck blowing up on the bridge.

Russian officers recommend that the explosion was brought on by a truck blowing up on the highway bridge.

The spokeswoman for the Russian Investigative committee, Svetlana Petrenko, mentioned the committee “has opened a felony case concerning the incident on the Crimean Bridge. Based on preliminary info, this morning a truck was blown up on the car a part of the Crimean Bridge from the Taman Peninsula [the westbound lanes of the bridge], which led to the ignition of seven gas tanks of a prepare travelling towards the Crimean Peninsula.”

“Because of this, two automobile lanes of the bridge partially collapsed.”

The committee additionally expanded on its earlier assertion {that a} truck on the bridge had blown up.

Based on Russia’s Investigative Committee, the proprietor of the truck is resident of the Krasnodar Krai, and investigative actions have been launched at his place of residence. The route of motion of the automobile and the related documentation are being studied, the committee added.

CNN is unable to confirm the Russian rationalization for the explosion.

Main transport hyperlinks between mainland Russia and the annexed peninsula of Crimea – together with buses and trains – have been suspended.

In the meantime, climate situations within the Kerch Strait are hindering Russia’s plans to make use of ferries to achieve Crimea from Krasnodar, based on Russian state media, and Russian troops in southern Ukraine will now be resupplied by sea and land hall, the nation’s Ministry of Protection mentioned.

Automotive site visitors on the undamaged a part of the Crimean bridge resumed, mentioned the Russian appointed head of Crimea, Sergey Aksenov, in an announcement on his Telegram channel on Saturday.

“In the meanwhile, site visitors is open to automobiles and buses with a full inspection process. We ask truck drivers to plan their route utilizing the Kerch ferry crossing. The Kerch-2 ferry will start to sail throughout the strait in two hours,” mentioned Aksenov.

Social media video reviewed by CNN signifies that the westbound lanes on the highway bridge have been severed, however that the eastbound lanes look like intact.

Based on Aksenov, railway communications on the Crimean bridge have been set to be renewed by the tip of Saturday.

The Russian army has used the bridge extensively to resupply its forces in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, and it’s unclear how the explosion will have an effect on its provide chains. Kyiv is efficiently pushing forward in its marketing campaign to retake elements of southern and jap Ukraine that Russia captured within the preliminary weeks of the battle.

The Ukrainian army has recaptured 2,400 sq. kilometers of territory in Kherson area within the south of the nation “because the starting of the full-scale battle,” a senior Ukrainian official mentioned Friday.

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