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War in Ukraine. Reports of explosions on the Crimean Bridge

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An incident took place on the bridge leading to the illegally occupied Crimea, after which at least two people died. Ukrainian media reported that explosions were heard on the Crimean bridge on Monday morning. The head of the occupation authorities of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, announced on the Telegram channel that traffic on the bridge had been stopped due to an “emergency situation”. He did not provide further details. According to information coming from the Ukrainian and Russian sides, the crossing is damaged, but the scale of the damage is not clear.

Information about the incident on the Crimean bridge was reported on Monday by Reuters, citing Russian regional authorities. The AP news agency reported that traffic through the crossing was stopped. Train traffic has also been suspended, but according to the Russian authorities, it is to be resumed within a few hours.

The head of the occupation authorities of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, announced on social media on the Telegram channel that traffic on the bridge was stopped due to an “emergency situation”. He did not provide further details.

“Due to the current situation, I am asking the inhabitants and visitors of the peninsula to refrain from crossing the Crimean bridge and, for safety reasons, choose an alternative land route through the new regions,” Aksyonov appealed.

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The recording made available by American journalists does not show any movement on the bridge.

The Crimean Bridge in the photo from July 17, 2023Reuters

Reports of casualties: two dead, one injured

The fatalities are a married couple traveling in a car with registration numbers in the Russian Belgorod region. Their daughter was injured. Reuters, quoting the Russian propaganda agency RIA Novosti, said the girl was in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

The “head of government” of the annexed Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, said that the “failure” occurred on the 145th pillar of the bridge. In turn, the Russian transport ministry reported that the road closer to the Crimean peninsula was damaged, but the pillars were not affected.

Adviser to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Anton Herashchenko, informing about the incident, published a photo of the alleged damage to the Crimean bridge.

The exact cause of the incident is unknown. According to unconfirmed reports, residents heard explosions before dawn on Monday.

Oleh BiƂecki on the incident on the Crimean BridgeTVN24

Ukrainian military intelligence about the “incident” on the bridge

The Russians will have problems with logistics because of the incident on the Russian bridge leading to the occupied Crimea, said Andriy Yusov, spokesman for the Ukrainian military intelligence (HUR). He noted in an interview with the Suspilne portal that the intelligence service did not comment on the causes of the incident.

The Russian command “uses the peninsula as a large logistics hub to transfer forces and resources deep into Ukrainian territory.” “Of course, any logistical problems will be an additional difficulty for the occupiers, creating potential benefits for the Ukrainian defense forces,” a HUR spokesman said. – One can only quote the words of the head of the HUR, Kyrylo Budanov, that the bridge to the Crimea is an unnecessary construction there – added Andriy Yusov.

Russian armored cars cross the Crimean bridgeMinistry of Defense of Russia

Could it have been a Russian provocation?

The spokeswoman for the Ukrainian forces in the south of the country, Natalia Humeniuk, noted that the incident on the bridge could be a Russian provocation in connection with the expiration of the grain agreement and the Ukrainian counteroffensive. “We are aware that with these unprecedented security measures that the Russians have been using for a long time around the bridge to Crimea, it is very likely that they were in control of the whole situation,” the spokeswoman said. In her opinion, “due to the fact that the question arose today about what will happen with the grain agreement, it can be assumed that the enemy may resort to some provocations.”

The Crimean Bridge was built by the Russians

The Crimean Bridge, built in 2018 over the waters of the Kerch Strait, connects the occupied Crimea with Russia’s Krasnodar Krai. This connection is used by Moscow to transport troops and equipment to the Crimea and then to Ukraine.

Crimean bridge connecting the annexed peninsula with RussiaShutterstock

Main photo source: Reuters

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