September 26, 2023

Ukraine apparently attacked the bridge throughout the Kerch Strait connecting the occupied Crimean peninsula to the Russian mainland early Monday morning, forcing it to shut.

Sergei Aksyonov, the Kremlin-appointed head of Crimea, stated all street and rail visitors on the bridge had been halted as a result of an unspecified “emergency,” however Russian army bloggers reported that Ukraine had attacked the landmark crossing.

On account of the incident, a father and mom from the Belgorod area have been killed, their daughter was injured, the governor of the Belgorod area Vyacheslav Gladkov stated on the air of the Zvezda TV channel of the Russian Protection Ministry. The roadbed main from Crimea has been broken, however the complete construction continues to be being examined, the Russian Ministry of Transport stated in a quick assertion on its Telegram channel.

The incident got here simply over 9 months after the assault on the bridge on October 8, when a truck loaded with explosives exploded, forcing the closure of 1 lane and damaging railroad tracks. Three folks died in that assault.

The 12-mile bridge, accomplished in 2018 and regarded an engineering achievement, was totally opened to vehicular visitors in February. Rail visitors resumed as regular in Could.

The bridge is the principle provide route for Russian troops in Ukraine, in addition to the Black Sea Fleet, headquartered within the legendary Crimean port of Sevastopol. The bridge disruption forces Russia to provide its troops in Crimea and southern Ukraine by way of land routes by way of southern Ukraine, which might be topic to Ukrainian shelling.

The closure additionally comes on the peak of the summer season vacationer season, when Crimea is a well-liked vacation spot for Russian vacationers in search of a budget-friendly seashore vacation spot. Crimean officers requested vacationers to remain in resorts because of the present scenario. Video on social media exhibits visitors being delayed on the roads resulting in the bridge.

Mr. Aksyonov, writing on his Telegram channel in regards to the scenario, requested residents and guests to not use the bridge and to make use of an “different land route by way of new areas”, referring to the areas of southern Ukraine occupied by Russia throughout its invasion. Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014.

In response to Mr. Aksenov, rail visitors ought to resume by 9 am Monday.

He and different officers urged folks in Crimea to not panic, with some officers saying there’s sufficient meals and gasoline on the peninsula to offer for the civilian inhabitants whereas the bridge is closed.

Milana Mazaeva made a report.

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