Blasts on Crimea bridge kill 2, threaten Russian war supply lines | CBC News


Traffic on the key bridge connecting Crimea to Russia’s mainland was halted on Monday after reports of explosions that Crimean officials said were from a Ukrainian attack.

The health ministry in Russia’s Krasnodar region, which lies at the eastern end of the bridge, said two people were killed in an unspecified accident on the bridge and their daughter was injured.

The chairman of Crimea’s parliament, Vladimir Kostantinov, said there was an attack on the bridge and blamed it on Ukraine’s “terrorist regime.”

The extent of the damage was not immediately clear, but rail traffic resumed later Monday morning after being halted for about six hours.

The bridge, which spans the Kerch Strait, was damaged in October by a truck bomb and required months of repairs before resuming full service.

The bridge carries both road and rail traffic and is an important supply artery for Russia’s war in Ukraine.

News reports said local residents heard explosions before dawn on Monday. 

Workers are shown leading on guardrails on a long bridge. In the background, three cranes are shown as well as several vehicles.
Workers shown above in October, 2022 restore damaged parts of the Kerch Bridge, which was hit by a blast days earlier. (AFP/Getty Images)

The governor of Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, had announced the closure of the bridge Monday morning but did not specify a reason.

Video posted by Crimea 24 online news channel showed a section of the bridge tilted and hanging down, but there was no indication any portion had fallen into the water.

The 19-kilometre bridge opened in 2018.

Andriy Yusov, a spokesman for Ukraine’s military intelligence department, declined to comment Monday on the incident but said: “The peninsula is used by the Russians as a large logistical hub for moving forces and assets deep into the territory of Ukraine.

“Of course, any logistical problems are additional complications for the occupiers.”


George Barros, an analyst at the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War, said if the bridge was seriously damaged it would significantly impact Russian supply lines.

“Russia will only have one ground supply line — the coastal highway on the Sea of Azov — to sustain (or evacuate) its tens of thousands of troops in occupied Kherson and Crimea if UKR manages to degrade/destroy the bridge,” Barros said on Twitter.

It was not immediately clear what the incident on the bridge would mean for the UN-brokered deal that allows the safe Black Sea export of Ukrainian grain. Ukraine and Russia are among the world’s top grain exporters.

The UN deal is due to expire on Monday, with the last ship to travel under the deal leaving the port of Odesa early on Sunday, according to a Reuters witness and


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