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Russian court arrests Ukrainian intelligence chief in absentia over Crimean Bridge explosion

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 21, 2023 4:37 PM 1 min read
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A Russian court has arrested in absentia Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov for what they deemed the "terrorist attack" on the Kerch Bridge, Russian state media wrote on April 21.

Budanov is accused of the "creation of a terrorist community," the "attempt to implement an act of terrorism by a group of persons by prior agreement," the "illegal acquisition of weapons by a group of persons," and "the illegal acquisition of explosive devices by a group of persons," Russian state media wrote.

On Oct. 8, there was an explosion on the bridge that connects Russia with the occupied Crimean peninsula. Kyiv has repeatedly called the bridge an illegal construction and a legitimate military target.

Russia's proxies in Crimea blamed Ukraine for the attack. Kyiv didn't officially respond to the accusations. However, multiple Ukrainian officials hinted at Ukraine's involvement, with President Volodymyr Zelensky saying later that day that it was "cloudy in Crimea."

According to Russian state media, Budanov is suspected of involvement in the explosion and has been put on an international wanted list, with Russia calling for his extradition.

In late December, Budanov said in an interview that Ukraine will liberate the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula through a combination of military force and diplomacy.

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