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Putin's Prized Crimea Bridge Damaged in Explosion, Ukraine Celebrates: What Now?

Europe's longest bridge, connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov, is Russia's primary supply route to Crimea.

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Edited By :Ahamad Fuwad

The 12-mile (19 km) Kerch Strait Bridge linking the Crimean Peninsula to Russian mainland was badly damaged by a massive explosion on Saturday, 8 October. 

Three people were killed in the explosion, the exact cause of which is yet to be confirmed, Russian authorities said.

Russia’s anti-terrorism committee conformed that a truck exploded on a road parallel to the bridge at 6 am local time. 

The committee, which has called the incident a “terrorist act” and an “act of war,” said that the explosion caused two sections of the bridge to collapse and a train subsequently caught fire, Al Jazeera reported. 

Putin's Prized Crimea Bridge Damaged in Explosion, Ukraine Celebrates: What Now?

  1. 1. Strategic Importance of Crimea Bridge 

    The Crimean bridges over Kerch Strait, which connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov, are twin bridges – one road, one railway – which were built by Russia since its annexation of Crimea at the start of the 2014 Russo-Ukrainian War. 

    Europe’s longest bridge, it connects Russia’s Krasnodar region with the Crimean peninsula. it is not only the primary supply route for Russian soldiers fighting the war in southern Ukraine, it is also deeply symbolic for Russian President Vladimir Putin and a pillar of his illegal claim to the Crimean Peninsula. 

    The bridge is critical for supplying Crimea with both its daily needs and military supplies. The bridge's railroads are regularly used to to ferry supplies to forces in Kherson, CNN reported.

    The strategic importance of the bridge can be understood by the fact Putin had presided over the the bridge’s opening in 2018, and personally drove a truck across the physical link between Russia and Crimea. For Russia, the bridge symbolises the physical “reunification” of Crimea with the Russian mainland.

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  2. 2. What Next?

    The bridge is the only military supply route linking Russia to the Crimean peninsula. With a damaged supply rite, the Russian military will be severely limited in their attempts to bring fuel, military equipment and ammunition too Russian units fighting increasingly dominating Ukrainian forces. 

    The Russian Railways company stated that all trains to and from Crimea have been canceled temporarily, reports said. The rail traffic, however, was resumed in the evening, its operator confirmed.

    The damage also affects Crimean residents, who rushed to petrol pumps to fill their vehicles as news about the explosion spread.

    But Crimea isn’t expected to suffer the supply impacts of the explosion, given alternate ingests like ports, the damage to the bridge also damages Russia’s narrative that the Kerch Strait, Crimean Bridge and in turn, Crimea, is too far from Kyiv’s hands. 

    Subsequent to the attack, Russia’s Ministry of Defence said that troops in southern Ukraine will be resupplied by land and sea corridors. 

    Expand
  3. 3. Peculiar Timing 

    Several analysts, quoted by The Guardian, were quick to note the peculiar timing of the blast, coming a day after Vladimir Putin celebrated his 70th birthday. But more importantly, it comes amid a series of embarrassing defeats on the southern and eastern war fronts in Ukraine.  

    It also comes barely a week after Putin illegally ‘annexed’ four Ukrainian regions, and just a few weeks weeks into Russia’s nuclear threats and brinkmanship. 

    The Kremlin said that Russia has ordered the setting up of a commission to look into the blast and further opened a criminal probe into the explosion, local Russian news agencies said.

    Russia's Narrative 

    Russian officials claimed that the explosion was caused by a truck blowing up on the road bridge side.

    The anti-terrorism committee alleged that a truck exploded “on the automobile part of the Crimean bridge from the side of the Taman Peninsula”. 

    As a result, the committee claimed that seven fuel tanks, on a train heading towards the Crimean peninsula, caught fire. This, in turn, led to the partial collapse of two lanes, it added, according to Al Jazeera

    Officials refrained from blaming Ukraine but a Russian official in Crimea pointed the finger at “Ukrainian vandals,” the report added. 

    While Russia’s explanation for the explosion remains unverified, Ukraine has not suggested that its armed forces were responsible for the explosion. 

    Expand
  4. 4. Ukranians 'Explode' With Joy

    Meanwhile, BBC reported that Ukrainians are exploding with excitement since they heard the news of the damaged bridge

    "The guided missile cruiser Moskva and the Kerch bridge – two notorious symbols of Russian power in Ukrainian Crimea – have gone down. What's next in line, Russkies?"
     Ukrainian Ministry of Defence
    The Ukrainian post office further announced that it was preparing to print stamps with depictions of “Crimean bridge – or more precisely, what remains of it." Top official Igor Smelyansky posted a design for the new stamps on Facebook, with one of them depicting the explosion at the bridge. 

    “Crimea, the bridge, the beginning,” Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter. 

    Ukraine and its citizens do not like the bridge, whose symbolism and strategic importance has made it a target since it was first opened in 2018. 

    Over the summer, the Ukrainian military posted images on Twitter threading to strike it with Western guided rockets. The video showed the M142 HIMARS and the bridge in the background.

    It was also subsequently targeted, Russian officials claimed that a drone had triggered air defence systems near the bridge. However, Kyiv did not claim responsibility for the incident. 

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, hitting out at the celebrations, said:

    "The reaction of the Kyiv regime to the destruction of civilian infrastructure testifies to its terrorist nature."

    (With inputs from BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, and TASS.)

    (At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

    Expand

Strategic Importance of Crimea Bridge 

The Crimean bridges over Kerch Strait, which connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov, are twin bridges – one road, one railway – which were built by Russia since its annexation of Crimea at the start of the 2014 Russo-Ukrainian War. 

Europe’s longest bridge, it connects Russia’s Krasnodar region with the Crimean peninsula. it is not only the primary supply route for Russian soldiers fighting the war in southern Ukraine, it is also deeply symbolic for Russian President Vladimir Putin and a pillar of his illegal claim to the Crimean Peninsula. 

The bridge is critical for supplying Crimea with both its daily needs and military supplies. The bridge's railroads are regularly used to to ferry supplies to forces in Kherson, CNN reported.

The strategic importance of the bridge can be understood by the fact Putin had presided over the the bridge’s opening in 2018, and personally drove a truck across the physical link between Russia and Crimea. For Russia, the bridge symbolises the physical “reunification” of Crimea with the Russian mainland.

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What Next?

The bridge is the only military supply route linking Russia to the Crimean peninsula. With a damaged supply rite, the Russian military will be severely limited in their attempts to bring fuel, military equipment and ammunition too Russian units fighting increasingly dominating Ukrainian forces. 

The Russian Railways company stated that all trains to and from Crimea have been canceled temporarily, reports said. The rail traffic, however, was resumed in the evening, its operator confirmed.

The damage also affects Crimean residents, who rushed to petrol pumps to fill their vehicles as news about the explosion spread.

But Crimea isn’t expected to suffer the supply impacts of the explosion, given alternate ingests like ports, the damage to the bridge also damages Russia’s narrative that the Kerch Strait, Crimean Bridge and in turn, Crimea, is too far from Kyiv’s hands. 

Subsequent to the attack, Russia’s Ministry of Defence said that troops in southern Ukraine will be resupplied by land and sea corridors. 

0

Peculiar Timing 

Several analysts, quoted by The Guardian, were quick to note the peculiar timing of the blast, coming a day after Vladimir Putin celebrated his 70th birthday. But more importantly, it comes amid a series of embarrassing defeats on the southern and eastern war fronts in Ukraine.  

It also comes barely a week after Putin illegally ‘annexed’ four Ukrainian regions, and just a few weeks weeks into Russia’s nuclear threats and brinkmanship. 

The Kremlin said that Russia has ordered the setting up of a commission to look into the blast and further opened a criminal probe into the explosion, local Russian news agencies said.

Russia's Narrative 

Russian officials claimed that the explosion was caused by a truck blowing up on the road bridge side.

The anti-terrorism committee alleged that a truck exploded “on the automobile part of the Crimean bridge from the side of the Taman Peninsula”. 

As a result, the committee claimed that seven fuel tanks, on a train heading towards the Crimean peninsula, caught fire. This, in turn, led to the partial collapse of two lanes, it added, according to Al Jazeera

Officials refrained from blaming Ukraine but a Russian official in Crimea pointed the finger at “Ukrainian vandals,” the report added. 

While Russia’s explanation for the explosion remains unverified, Ukraine has not suggested that its armed forces were responsible for the explosion. 

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Ukranians 'Explode' With Joy

Meanwhile, BBC reported that Ukrainians are exploding with excitement since they heard the news of the damaged bridge

"The guided missile cruiser Moskva and the Kerch bridge – two notorious symbols of Russian power in Ukrainian Crimea – have gone down. What's next in line, Russkies?"
 Ukrainian Ministry of Defence
The Ukrainian post office further announced that it was preparing to print stamps with depictions of “Crimean bridge – or more precisely, what remains of it." Top official Igor Smelyansky posted a design for the new stamps on Facebook, with one of them depicting the explosion at the bridge. 

“Crimea, the bridge, the beginning,” Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter. 

Ukraine and its citizens do not like the bridge, whose symbolism and strategic importance has made it a target since it was first opened in 2018. 

Over the summer, the Ukrainian military posted images on Twitter threading to strike it with Western guided rockets. The video showed the M142 HIMARS and the bridge in the background.

It was also subsequently targeted, Russian officials claimed that a drone had triggered air defence systems near the bridge. However, Kyiv did not claim responsibility for the incident. 

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, hitting out at the celebrations, said:

"The reaction of the Kyiv regime to the destruction of civilian infrastructure testifies to its terrorist nature."

(With inputs from BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, and TASS.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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