Russian divers inspect damage to bombed Crimea bridge

  • Russia says cross-bridge rail traffic runs as planned
  • Kerch Strait Bridge vital to supply Russian army
  • The majestic building is a symbol of Russia’s annexation of Crimea
  • Blast in Russia’s Battlefield Defeat
  • 12 killed in Russian missile attack in southeastern Ukraine

Kyiv, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Russian divers will examine on Sunday the damage caused by a powerful explosion on a road and railway bridge leading to Crimea, a key symbol of Moscow’s annexation of the peninsula and a key to its forces. Supply routes fought in southern Ukraine.

The explosion on the Kerch Strait bridge on Saturday sparked euphoria among Ukrainian officials, but did not claim responsibility. Russia did not immediately blame the explosion, with images showing half of the bridge road was blown up, with the other half still connected.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Husnulin said divers would start work in the morning and a more detailed investigation above the waterline was expected to be completed by the end of the day, according to Russian domestic news agencies.

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“The situation is manageable – unpleasant, but not fatal,” Crimea’s Russian governor Sergei Aksyonov told reporters. “Of course, emotions have been triggered and there is a kind of seeking A healthy desire for revenge.”

Russia’s transport ministry said freight trains and long-distance passenger trains crossing the Crimean bridge were running as planned on Sunday. Limited road traffic resumed on Saturday about 10 hours after the blast.

Aksyonov said the peninsula has a month’s worth of fuel and more than two months’ worth of food. Russia’s Defense Ministry said Saturday that its forces in southern Ukraine could be “sufficiently supplied” by existing land and sea routes.

Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, and a 19-kilometer (12-mile) bridge connecting the region to its transportation network was opened to great fanfare by President Vladimir Putin four years later.

Kyiv has demanded that Russian troops leave the Black Sea peninsula and Ukrainian territory they seized in Putin’s February invasion.

It is unclear whether Saturday’s blast was a deliberate attack, but the damage to such a high-profile structure comes amid a defeat on the Russian battlefield that could further affect the Kremlin’s assurances that the conflict will go ahead as planned.

Elsewhere, shelling in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Zaporozhye in the early hours of Sunday killed at least 12 people and hospitalized 49, including six children, Ukrainian officials said.

Oleksandr Starukh, the governor of the Zaporozhye region, said overnight a nine-story building was partially destroyed, five other residential buildings were razed to the ground, and more. Many homes were damaged in 12 Russian missile strikes.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the reports.

The city of Zaporozhye, about 52 kilometers (30 miles) from Russia-owned Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, has come under frequent shelling in recent weeks.


The Kerch Strait Bridge is the main artery of the Russian army in southern Ukraine, and they control most of the Kherson region and most of the Zaporozhye region, as well as the port of Sevastopol, where the Russian Black Sea Fleet is located.

Russian officials said three people were killed in the explosion on Saturday morning. On the upper deck of the bridge, the seven-car tanker of the 59-car train bound for the peninsula also caught fire.

A cargo truck exploded on the road of the bridge, Russia’s federal counterterrorism agency said on Saturday. It said two spans of the road bridge had partially collapsed, but the arches that spanned the passage for ships sailing between the Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Azov were not damaged.

Kirill Stremusov, Russia’s appointed deputy governor of the Kherson region, said in a social media post that while the explosion “would not have much of an impact on the supply of troops,” the logistics of Crimea would problem appear.

The blast, which occurred a day after Putin’s 70th birthday, also coincided with Russia’s third senior military appointment in a week. Moscow designated Air Force General Sergei Surovykin in charge of the invasion.

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Reporting by Max Hunder, Jonathan Landay and Reuters Writing by Kevin Liffey, Alistair Bell and Clarence Fernandez Editing by William Mallard, Raissa Kasolowsky and​​Frances Kerry

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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