Ukraine Claims Responsibility for Deadly Explosion on Crimean Bridge

July 17, 2023

At least two people have been killed and their daughter wounded in an explosion on the Kerch Bridge, the only bridge connecting the Crimean peninsula to the Russian mainland, the Moscow-appointed governor in the Belgorod region said Monday. 

Ukrainian forces have claimed responsibility for the explosion on the 12-mile expanse, the longest in Europe, according to CNN. 

Telegram posts by the Wagner mercenary group’s Grey Zone as well as a popular Crimean blogger said that explosions had been heard around 3:04 a.m. and 3:20 a.m. local time.

The Kerch Bridge carries both road and rail traffic, and the roadway was reportedly experiencing traffic jams in the ensuing hours.

“There is damage to the roadway on spans of the Crimean Bridge,” Russia’s Transport Ministry said on Telegram, while Russian media published video of the scene.

Back in October, five Russians and three Ukrainian and Armenian citizens were arrested by the Russian Federation for an explosion then on the Kerch Bridge that caused it severe damage. Russia’s FSB intelligence service blamed that attack on the Ukrainian military, tough Kyiv did not take responsibility at the time.

By contrast, a source in Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) told CNN that Monday’s explosion was a joint operation between the SBU and Ukraine’s naval forces.

Russia built the Kerch Bridge at a cost of around $3.7 billion after the Kremlin illegally annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, and it has since been critical route for supplying Crimea with supplies for Russia’s military, as well as fuel and goods for civilians.

Sergey Aksenov, the Russia-appointed head of Crimea, said emergency responders and law enforcement have been dispatched to the scene. The Transport Ministry said an inspection of the bridge was underway.

PHOTO: @Gerashchenko_en

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