Ukrainian media reported blasts on the Crimean Bridge, and traffic was stopped on the Russian-built bridge due to “an emergency” situation, according to Russia-installed officials in Crimea.
At around 3:20 am, residents heard two explosions on the Crimean Bridge. The head of Russia-installer authorities in occupied Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, said that an “emergency” had occurred in the area of the 145th pillar from the Krasnodar region. Traffic on the bridge was stopped.
What is happening on the Crimean Bridge?
Eyewitnesses began to publish on social media footage from the Crimean Bridge, which shows a massive traffic jam. The traffic has been stopped.
People report that a span collapsed on the Crimean Bridge due to the explosions, the slab slid down, and the baffle was turned upside down.
The Russia-installed Crimean tourism minister, Vadim Volchenko, asked tourists not to leave the peninsula’s hotels. The Russian Railways support centre reported that train traffic through the bridge was stopped.
The bridge was attacked with surface drones – media
The Russian Ministry of Transport stated that the explosions on the Crimean bridge damaged the roadway on the spans from Crimea.
Ukrainian media reported that the attack on the Crimean Bridge was part of a successful special operation by the Security Service of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Navy. Allegedly, the bridge was attacked using surface drones.
Russian propaganda media reported that naval drones could have attacked the Crimean Bridge. They noted that these were allegedly surface drones that came by the sea.
One bridge pillar was damaged – media
According to reports, Russian occupation authorities stressed that one bridge pillar was damaged, one span collapsed, and another partially came off the pillar.
The released footage shows that the Crimean Bridge has partially collapsed. Due to the explosion, two people from the Belgorod region were killed in the car. A married couple died, and their 14-year-old daughter was injured and is now in hospital.
The footage also shows that one of the bridge spans has fallen into the sea, and other structures have been destroyed. Emergency services are currently working at the scene.
Why is the Crimean Bridge vital for Russia?
The Crimean Bridge is vital for Russia. It is not only a supply route but also a symbol of propaganda and the Russian occupation of Crimea. In 2018, Russian dictator Putin personally came to open the bridge across the Kerch Strait.
The Kerch Bridge is about 18 kilometres long and connects Russia and the Crimean peninsula via the island of Tuzla. In total, it consists of two routes – a railway and a road.
The construction of this bridge made it much easier for Russians to supply food and military equipment to the occupied peninsula. Military equipment, ammunition, and troops from Russia through Crimea to the occupied areas of southern Ukraine, where the Ukrainian Army’s counter-offensive is underway, are being transported across the bridge.
Military equipment and ammunition transfer from Russia to the south of Ukraine
The destruction of this bridge is significant to Russian invading forces as they are effectively cut off from Russia.
The Ukrainian side has repeatedly emphasised that this facility is a legitimate military target and will be destroyed when the opportunity emerges.
In October 2022, the Ukrainian Armed Forces attacked the Crimean Bridge, causing it to be partially destroyed. However, Russia was able to continue using it.