Monday, November 28, 2022

Explosion reported at Crimean Bridge, Russia blames Ukraine

by Daria ShulzhenkoOctober 8, 2022 10:39 am

Explosion reported at Crimean Bridge, Russia blames UkraineA photo of the burning Crimean Bridge, which connects the Russian-occupied Ukrainian peninsula and Russia's mainland, posted by eyewitnesses on social media. Explosions were reported at the bridge in the early hours of Oct. 8, 2022. (Courtesy)

Ukrainian media reported that a fire broke out at the Crimean Bridge — the strategic bridge that connects Russia with the occupied Crimea peninsula — at around 7 a.m. on Oct. 8.

The fire has already been eliminated, the Russian state news agency TASS reported.

TASS said that the traffic on the road and railway parts of the bridge has been stopped, and Russia is preparing to launch a ferry across the Kerch Strait. RIA Novosti, another Russian state news agency, said a fuel tank was on fire on the bridge.

Russian media also reported that all trains from Russia to Crimea had been canceled due to the fire, and the sale of train tickets to the peninsula had been suspended.

The Crimean Bridge was illegally constructed by Russia following its invasion and occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula in 2014.

The damage inflicted on the bridge could further complicate the Russian military's already disrupted supply chains in the south of Ukraine, as Kyiv continues to conduct its counteroffensive in the area.

Scale of damage

Eyewitnesses’ photos and videos of the fiercely burning Crimean Bridge show that a massive explosion hit it on the span that carries railway traffic.

Vladimir Konstantinov, the head of Crimea's Russian-installed illegal "parliament", accused "Ukrainian vandals" of hitting the bridge. He claimed that the damage was "insignificant", and that the bridge would be repaired soon.

However, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that “there are still no forecasts” for restoring the Crimean Bridge, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported. 

The Russian union of insurers estimated the damage from the explosion at 200-500 million rubles ($1.4-3.6 million).

Who is responsible?

Following the explosion, Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the head of Ukraine's President’s Office, wrote on Twitter that “everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be expelled.”

Multiple other Ukrainian officials hinted at Kyiv's involvement in the attack as they commented on the explosion on Oct. 8.

In August, Podolyak said that the Crimean Bridge should be destroyed as a legitimate military target.

Ukrainska Pravda, an online newspaper, cited law enforcement sources as saying that Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) is behind the explosion.

The SBU indirectly confirmed the report. "The bridge is burning beautifully at dawn. A nightingale is meeting the SBU in Crimea," the SBU quipped, paraphrasing Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko.

Daria Shulzhenko
Daria Shulzhenko

Daria Shulzhenko is a reporter at the Kyiv Independent. She has been a lifestyle reporter at the Kyiv Post until November 2021. She graduated from Kyiv International University with a bachelor’s in linguistics, specializing in translation from English and German languages. She has previously worked as a freelance writer and researcher.

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