Crimea Bridge: Russian supply line damaged two died amid reports of explosions

Crimea Bridge: Russian supply line damaged two died amid reports of explosions

Crimea Bridge: Russian supply line damaged two died amid reports of explosions

Crimea Bridge: Key Russian supply line damaged two died amid reports of explosions

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Russian officials confirmed that the Crimea Bridge, a crucial supply line for Russian troops in Ukraine, was damaged during an “emergency” incident that resulted in two fatalities and a child being injured.

While Ukrainian media reported explosions on the bridge, traffic was halted from using the Russian-built bridge connecting Russia to Crimea, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014.

The 19 km (12-mile) road and rail bridge has been a notable infrastructure project for President Vladimir Putin, who personally crossed it in a Mercedes after its repair following a previous explosion.

Sergei Aksyonov, a Russia-installed governor, mentioned that the emergency occurred at the 145th pillar of the bridge, but no further details were provided.

Russia’s transport ministry confirmed damage to the road portion of the bridge near the Crimean Peninsula but did not mention the cause or any damage to the pillars.

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The RBC-Ukraine news agency reported hearing explosions on the bridge. The Grey Zone channel, a popular Telegram channel associated with the Wagner mercenary group, reported two strikes on the bridge at specific times.

According to Vyacheslav Gladkov, governor of the Belgorod region in southern Russia, a couple was killed, and their daughter was injured while traveling in a passenger car on the bridge early on Monday.

The exact cause of their deaths was not disclosed. A photo circulating on Serhiy Bratchuk’s Telegram account, spokesperson for Ukraine’s Odesa military administration, appeared to show a broken section of the bridge, but its connection to any attack remained unclear.

The reports have yet to be independently verified, and there was no immediate comment from Ukraine. Analyst George Barros from the Institute for the Study of War stated on Twitter that severe damage to the bridge would significantly impact Russian supply lines.

The incident’s implications for the U.N.-brokered deal facilitating the safe export of Ukrainian grain in the Black Sea remain uncertain. The deal was scheduled to expire on Monday, with the last ship departing from the port of Odesa on Sunday.

The Crimean Bridge was previously damaged in an explosion last October, attributed by the Kremlin to Ukrainian security forces. Ukraine indirectly acknowledged involvement in the attack months later.

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The construction of the bridge, Europe’s longest, was undertaken by a company belonging to Putin’s ally Arkady Rotenberg. Putin has praised the project, noting that Russian leaders throughout history had envisioned its construction but never realized it.

The Crimean peninsula holds significant importance as a cherished holiday destination for Russians, especially following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, which made travel to the West more challenging.

In recent weeks, traffic congestion leading to the bridge had extended for kilometers as Russians embarked on their vacations.

However, the Russian-backed administration of Crimea advised residents against traveling via the bridge.

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