Russia: Following the development of the Russia-Ukraine War, an explosion took place on the single bridge that connects Crimea with mainland Russia. Just a Few days ago, the Russian President announced the Annex of Four Ukrainian Territories.
According to Russian officials, a vehicle explosion on the sole bridge between the seized Crimean peninsula and Russia started a huge fire. Oil tankers on the rail segment caught fire after a blast on the road part, and then the road collapsed.
The explosions occurred hours after Russia focused its ongoing invasion of Ukraine on regions it had forcibly annexed, and as the death toll from earlier missile strikes on residential complexes in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia reached 14.
After annexing Crimea in 2014, Russia now uses the bridge to transport military hardware into Ukraine.
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In response to the fire, the Ukrainian government’s official Twitter account tweeted: “Sick burn.”
— Ukraine / Україна (@Ukraine) October 8, 2022
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Zelensky, did not expressly blame Ukraine but wrote: Crimea, the bridge, the beginning. Everything that is illegal must be destroyed, everything that has been taken must be given back to Ukraine, and everything that Russia has captured must be evicted. The Russian missile cruiser Moskva was sunk in April, and Ukraine’s defence ministry connected the bridge explosion to that incident.
Two infamous Russian power symbols in Ukrainian Crimea have been destroyed, it tweeted. “What comes after that?”
Crimea, the bridge, the beginning. Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be expelled. pic.twitter.com/yUiSwOLlDP
— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) October 8, 2022
The response of the Kyiv administration to the destruction of civilian infrastructure, according to the Russian foreign ministry, “is a witness to its terrorist nature.” The symbolism and impact of seeing the bridge on fire cannot be overstated. In 2018, President Putin declared it open as a sign that Crimea belonged to Russia.
💬 Russian MFA Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova:
The Kiev regime's reaction towards destruction of civilian infrastructure is a testament to its terrorist nature. pic.twitter.com/DFlWPID37b
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) October 8, 2022
The bridge has been utilized by Russia to transport soldiers, military supplies, and equipment to battlegrounds in southern Ukraine.
In light of their commitment to retake the peninsula, Ukrainian authorities claimed it to be a valid target. Any assault on Crimea, where there is a sizable Russian force presence, will be viewed as a further grave humiliation for the Kremlin.
Cross-bridge vehicular and rail traffic has been halted. Local authorities in Crimea have announced plans to set up a boat service between the peninsula and the Russian mainland.
According to Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee, an explosion at a cargo vehicle on the motorway portion of the Crimean bridge on the side of the Taman peninsula sparked the fire of seven fuel tanks in a train that was traveling to the Crimean peninsula at 06:07 Moscow time today (03:07 GMT), “Two portions of the bridge over the freeway partially collapsed.”
Vladimir Konstantinov, the speaker of the Crimean parliament, attributed the explosion to “Ukrainian vandals who have now reached their bloody hands to the Crimean bridge.” Adding to it, he said that since the damage to the bridge was not substantial, it would be “promptly reconstructed.”
According to comments made by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov and reported by the Interfax news agency, President Putin has been briefed about the “emergency” on the bridge and has requested a government investigation. Additionally, a criminal inquiry is ongoing.
President Putin opened the £2.7 billion, 19 km (12 mi) bridge over the Kerch Strait four years after Moscow’s illegitimate annexation of Crimea. The Russian media lauded it as “the construction of the century” and noted that it is the longest bridge in all of Europe. It was previously said to be well defended bridge from threats, from the air, land, or water, according to Russian officials.
Crimea Bridge’s Map Connecting To Russia
More than 100 kilometers separate the crossing from territory controlled by Ukraine. A missile was most likely not the origin of the fire, an explosives expert told this. The fact that there was no evident blast or fragmentation damage on the road surface, according to expert, indicates that an air-delivered weapon was not employed.
According to the expert, “a carefully thought-out attack from below may have been the cause.” “I believe explosives on the railway deck and road bridge were set off almost simultaneously using coded radio instructions,” he continued.
A number of airstrikes on Crimea during the course of the summer, including an assault on Russia’s Saky military installation, were claimed by Ukraine last month. In this conflict, Kyiv is in the driving seat. Large tracts of land have been recaptured by the army, forcing Russian troops to vacate long-held positions.
Moscow has started a disorderly military mobilisation in the midst of the losses, which has sparked unusual anti-war protests in Russia and a significant emigration of males of military age. Presenters and studio guests on Russian TV talk shows have been expressing an increasing sense of despair and gloom about the situation.
Considering this new development, world peace is in danger again. It will be interesting and scrary as well to see how Vladimir Putin reacts to this attack.