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Putin Vows Response as Key Bridge to Crimea Struck Again, Resulting in 2 Fatalities

by Gabriel Martinez
4 comments
bridge attack

In an early morning attack on Monday, a bridge connecting Russia to Crimea, which serves as a crucial supply route for Kremlin forces involved in the Ukrainian conflict, was damaged, leading to its temporary closure for the second time in less than a year. Two individuals lost their lives in the incident, while their daughter sustained injuries.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered heightened security measures at the 19-kilometer (12-mile) Kerch Bridge, reiterating a call he made in October 2022 when the bridge was severely damaged in an explosion, an incident that Moscow also attributed to Kyiv.

Putin further stated, “Russia will undoubtedly respond to this,” during a televised meeting with officials. He denounced the attack as another act of terrorism by the Kyiv regime, emphasizing its military insignificance since the Crimean bridge has not been utilized for military purposes in a significant amount of time. Putin condemned the incident as brutal due to the harm inflicted on innocent civilians.

Following the attack, vehicular and rail traffic on the bridge came to a halt, causing disruptions for several hours. Satellite imagery captured by Maxar Technologies on Monday morning displayed severe damage to both the eastbound and westbound lanes of the bridge near the Russian mainland, with at least one section completely collapsed. However, the railroad bridge running parallel to the highway appeared unaffected.

Russia’s National Anti-Terrorist Committee disclosed that the strike was executed by two Ukrainian maritime drones. While Ukrainian officials did not explicitly claim responsibility, Ukrainian Security Service spokesman Artem Degtyarenko suggested that details about the attack would be revealed after the war with Russia had been won, indirectly implying involvement.

The October 2022 attack on the bridge involved a truck bomb that caused substantial damage and necessitated months of repairs. Moscow classified the incident as an act of terrorism and retaliated by targeting Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, particularly the power grid, during the winter.

The Kerch Bridge symbolizes Moscow’s claims over Crimea and serves as a crucial land connection to the illegally annexed peninsula. Valued at $3.6 billion, the bridge is the longest in Europe and plays a vital role in Russia’s military operations in southern Ukraine throughout the nearly 17-month-long conflict.

Since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022, Russian military presence in Crimea has expanded. The peninsula has witnessed occasional sabotage and other attacks against Russian military installations, with the Kremlin consistently attributing them to Ukraine.

Despite these attacks, Russians continue to visit Crimea for vacations. As a result of the bridge closure, long queues formed at a ferry crossing the Kerch Strait, according to reports from Russian media.

Simultaneously, traffic congestion occurred on a highway in the Russian-held part of the Kherson region as authorities in Crimea directed motorists to utilize the land route to Russia, passing through partially occupied regions of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, and Donetsk. Additionally, drivers heading to Crimea experienced delays in a three-kilometer traffic jam between the Russian cities of Rostov-on-Don and Taganrog.

The bridge attack coincides with Ukrainian forces pushing a counteroffensive in several areas of the front line. Moreover, Russia announced the expected suspension of a UN and Turkey-brokered deal that permitted the export of Ukrainian grain during the war.

Russian media identified the deceased victims as Alexei and Natalia Kulik, who were en route to Crimea for a summer vacation. Alexei, a 40-year-old truck driver, and Natalia, a 36-year-old municipal education worker, tragically lost their lives, while their 14-year-old daughter suffered injuries to her chest and brain.

Initially, Kyiv did not accept responsibility for the bridge attack in October 2022, but Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar recently acknowledged that Ukraine had targeted the bridge to disrupt Russian logistics.

Russian authorities reported that the attack did not impact the bridge’s pillars but caused severe damage to two road links, rendering one beyond repair. Nevertheless, the damage appeared less extensive compared to the previous attack in October. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin stated that traffic on one side of the bridge would gradually resume after midnight on Monday (2100 GMT Monday).

Andriy Yusov, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s military intelligence department, declined to comment directly on the incident but remarked, “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.”

The Security Service of Ukraine shared a redacted version of a popular lullaby that humorously alluded to the bridge’s recurring closures.

For the latest updates on the war in Ukraine, follow AP’s coverage at: https://bigbignews.net/russia-ukraine

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This report was contributed to by Michael Biesecker, a writer from Big Big News, based in Washington.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about bridge attack

Q: What is the significance of the bridge mentioned in the text?

A: The bridge mentioned in the text is the Kerch Bridge, a key link connecting Russia to Crimea. It serves as a crucial supply route for Kremlin forces involved in the war with Ukraine.

Q: How was the bridge damaged in the recent attack?

A: The recent attack on the bridge involved two Ukrainian maritime drones, according to Russia’s National Anti-Terrorist Committee.

Q: Are there any casualties reported?

A: Yes, two people were killed in the attack on the bridge, and their daughter sustained injuries.

Q: Who is being blamed for the attack on the bridge?

A: The attack is being blamed on Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.

Q: How has President Putin responded to the attack?

A: President Putin has ordered increased security measures at the Kerch Bridge and has vowed a response from Russia.

Q: Has the bridge been previously targeted?

A: Yes, the bridge was severely damaged in an explosion in October 2022, which was also blamed on Kyiv.

Q: What is the current status of the bridge?

A: The bridge has been temporarily closed for traffic due to the attack. Investigations are underway, and authorities are working on repairing the damage.

Q: How has the attack affected transportation in the region?

A: The attack on the bridge has halted vehicle and rail traffic, causing disruptions in the area. Ferry crossings and alternative land routes have seen increased congestion.

Q: What is the geopolitical significance of Crimea?

A: Crimea is a peninsula that Russia illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014. The Kerch Bridge is a symbolic link to assert Moscow’s claims over the region.

Q: Is there any ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine?

A: Yes, there is an ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, with Ukrainian forces engaged in a counteroffensive in several areas of the front line.

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4 comments

LizS July 17, 2023 - 7:38 pm

Can’t believe this bridge got hit again! Putin’s not messing around, he’s gonna respond. Hope they catch those responsible!

Reply
Alex123 July 18, 2023 - 5:41 am

wow putin vows responce to the attack on the bridge it is very serious situation i hope everything is ok!!!

Reply
BobbyG July 18, 2023 - 1:41 pm

Another attack on the bridge? This conflict just keeps escalating. Hope they find a peaceful solution soon. #PrayForPeace

Reply
Emily87 July 18, 2023 - 4:42 pm

This is such a tragic incident. Those poor people just wanted to go on vacation. Putin needs to make sure it doesn’t happen again!

Reply

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