Crimea bridge hit by explosions; Russia-backed authorities slam Ukraine for ‘terrorist attack’

Crimea bridge hit by explosions; Russia-backed authorities slam Ukraine for ‘terrorist attack’

The Kerch Bridge that links Crimea to Russia, taken on October 14, 2022.

Stringer | Afp | Getty Images

The Russian-installed head of Crimea’s Parliament has blamed Ukraine for a “terrorist attack” on the Crimean bridge that halted traffic, and reportedly killed two people.

“Tonight, the terrorist regime in Kyiv committed a new crime — they attacked the Crimean bridge,” Head of Crimea’s parliament Vladimir Konstantinov said in his Telegram channel.

The bridge, a 12-mile crossing of road and railways, is a crucial transportation and supply route for Russian forces in Ukraine.

“In retaliation — we will follow the news. Our Secretary of Defense has promised strikes against criminal decision-making centers,” he threatened.

Russia’s Grey Zone channel, a Telegram channel with affiliations to the Wagner mercenary group, also posted: “Two strikes were made on the Crimean bridge by the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” according to translations from Google.

The incidents reportedly occurred at 3.04 a.m. and 3.20 a.m. local time. Tech Zone Daily could not independently verify the reports.

According to the Transport Ministry of the Russian Federation, the bridge itself was not damaged. The incident occurred at a part leading to the bridge.

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The Kerch Bridge was opened in 2018, and connects occupied Crimea to Russia.

“Traffic was stopped on the Crimean bridge: an emergency occurred in the area of ​​​​the 145th support from the Krasnodar Territory,” Sergey Aksyonov, head of the Russian administration in Crimea, said in a separate Telegram message.

Aksyonov added that measures are being taken to restore the situation.

A girl was injured, while her parents perished in the incident, Vyacheslav Gladkov, the governor of Belgorod said in a separate statement on his own Telegram channel.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The attack on the Crimean bridge was deemed to be a “special operation” undertaken by the naval forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Security Service of Ukraine, RBC-Ukraine news agency reported, citing sources from the SBU.

As of 9.50 a.m. local time, Russia’s transport ministry announced that ferry traffic between Crimea and Russia had been suspended.

“The operation of the Kerch ferry is currently suspended … The resumption of the operation of the crossing will be announced later,” the ministry announced.

This is the second time that the bridge has been damaged within the span of 10 months. The incident comes at a time when the landmark Black Sea grain deal brokered between Ukraine and Russia is set to expire.

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