Russian investigators announced that three people were killed in the explosion on the Crimean bridge, probably passengers in a vehicle that was near the truck when it exploded. If Ukraine turned out to be behind this explosion, it would be a serious setback for Russia, since it is an essential infrastructure for transporting people and goods to the peninsula, but also for supplying the Russian troops deployed in Ukraine.
A truck bomb killed three people this Saturday, October 8, and caused a major fire on the Crimean bridge, a key infrastructure that connects Russia with the peninsula annexed by Moscow, which opened an investigation without directly accusing Ukraine.
“Today at 06:07 (03:07 GMT) on the road part of the Crimean bridge (…) a car bomb detonated, causing the fire of seven railway tankers that were going to Crimea,” said the Russian National Anti-Terrorist Committee. , quoted by local agencies.
Security camera footage shows a huge explosion overnight, which appears to have occurred as a truck passed by. Other images show the railway line on fire and a collapsed stretch of highway.
Russian researchers announced that three people died in the explosionprobably the passengers of a vehicle that was near the truck when it exploded.
“The bodies of two victims, a man and a woman, have already been removed from the water,” the Russian Investigative Committee said in a statement, without giving details about the third victim.
The body, in charge of the main criminal investigations in Russia, stated that the owner of the truck was an inhabitant of the Krasnodar region, in southern Russia.
The bridge, inaugurated in 2018 and built at the initiative of President Vladimir Putin, is the symbol of the annexation of this Ukrainian peninsula by Russia in 2014.
If Ukraine turned out to be behind this explosion, it would be a serious setback for Russia, since it is an essential infrastructure for transporting people and goods to the peninsula, but also for supplying the Russian troops deployed in Ukraine.
Ukraine did not claim responsibility for the attack, but several officials made ironic and derisive comments. The Ukrainian post office said it would produce a stamp to mark the occasion.
These reactions led the spokeswoman for Russian diplomacy, Maria Zajárova, to consider this event as a sign of the “terrorist nature” of the Ukrainian authorities.
The head of the Crimean Assembly, the regional parliament installed by Russia, Vladimir Konstantinov, in turn denounced what happened as a coup by “Ukrainian hooligans.”
The Ukrainian presidency, on the other hand, suggested that Moscow could be behind the outbreak.
“It should be noted that the truck that exploded, according to all indications, entered the bridge from the Russian side. It is in Russia where we must look for answers, “said the adviser to the Ukrainian presidency Mijailo Podoliak.
Shortly before, he had stated that “everything stolen must return to Ukraine” and that the explosion was due to an internal struggle between the secret services and the Russian army.
The Kremlin spokesman quickly told the Ria Novosti agency that Putin had ordered the creation of a government commission to clarify the facts.
The explosion on the bridge is a new setback for Russiawhich in recent weeks has suffered a series of military setbacks on the front that caused discontent among the Russian elite.
A situation that led the Moscow authorities to appoint a new commander for the offensive in Ukraine, General Sergei Surovikin.
Surovikin, 55, is a veteran of the civil war in Tajikistan in the 1990s, the second Chechen war (2000s) and the Russian intervention in Syria launched in 2015.
The decision came after several military defeats since the beginning of September, which forced the Russians to retreat in the northeast and in the south of Ukraine, in particular in the Kherson region, which borders Crimea, and whose annexation was announced by Moscow.
To try to reverse the trend, President Putin decreed the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of reservists and the annexation of four Ukrainian regions, after referendums denounced by the international community.
Calls to calm
The fire on the Crimean bridge, which is used for vehicles and trains, forced all traffic to stop for much of the day and ferries were enabled to facilitate the crossing, according to Russian agencies.
In the afternoon, it was reopened for vehicles and buses, “with full inspection procedures,” Crimean leader Sergei Aksionov announced on Telegram. Rail traffic should be restored tonight.
The head of the peninsula, installed by Moscow, Sergei Aksyonov, asked the inhabitants of Crimea to remain “calm”.
Authorities also tried to quell fears of food and fuel shortages.
According to an official of the Russian occupation in the Ukrainian region of Kherson, neighboring Crimea, Kirill Stremooussov, the repairs could take “two months”.
Russia always claimed that the bridge was not at risk despite the fighting in Ukraine, but threatened kyiv with retaliation if Ukrainian forces attacked this infrastructure or others in Crimea.
Russian deputy Oleg Morozov, quoted by the Ria Novosti agency, called for an “adequate” response on Saturday. “Otherwise these types of terrorist attacks will multiply,” he said.
In recent months there have been several explosions at Russian military installations on the peninsula whose responsibility was not claimed by Ukraine until months later.
With information from AFP