Explosion Shuts Crucial Bridge Between Crimea and Russia
A major explosion severely damaged the bridge connecting Russia’s mainland to the occupied Crimean Peninsula, disrupting traffic on a crucial artery for the supply of fuel, military equipment and food to Russian troops fighting to hold ground in southern Ukraine.
The bridge, opened by President Vladimir Putin to great fanfare in 2018, symbolized the might of the Russian state and the permanence of Russia’s annexation of the peninsula four years earlier. Russia even released a feature movie about its construction.
Russia’s investigations committee said three people died after the early-morning explosion on Saturday of a truck on the bridge’s roadway next to a supply train that was carrying fuel. Some demolition experts who analyzed footage of the blast questioned the Russian version and said that the explosion must have come from under the bridge, caused either by an explosives-laden boat or by shaped charges placed by divers.
Russian officials in recent months repeatedly warned of severe consequences should Kyiv try to strike the bridge. Former President Dmitry Medvedev said in July that hitting Crimea would cause “an immediate judgment day.”