December 9, 2022

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Russian divers examine the damage to the Crimean Bridge, which was hit by the explosion

Russian divers examine the damage to the Crimean Bridge, which was hit by the explosion

  • Russia says rail traffic across the bridge is going on schedule
  • Bridge across the Kerch Strait vital to supplying Russian forces
  • The imposition of the Temple is a symbol of Russia’s annexation of Crimea
  • The explosion comes amid defeats for Russia on the battlefield
  • 12 killed in Russian missile attack in southeast Ukraine

Kyiv (Reuters) – Russian divers were due on Sunday to examine the damage caused by a powerful explosion on a bridge on the road and railroad to Crimea, a majestic symbol of Moscow’s annexation of the peninsula and a major supply route for its forces. The fighting in southern Ukraine.

Saturday’s explosion on the bridge over the Kerch Strait prompted happy messages from Ukrainian officials, but no one has claimed responsibility. Russia did not immediately determine its responsibility for the explosion, as images showed the bombing of half a section of the bridge road, while the other half is still connected to it.

Local news agencies reported that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khosnolin said divers will start work in the morning, and a more detailed survey above the waterline is expected to be completed by the end of the day.

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“The situation is manageable … it is unpleasant, but it is not fatal,” Russian Crimean governor Sergei Aksyonov told reporters. “Of course, feelings have taken off and there is a healthy desire for revenge.”

The Russian Transport Ministry said freight trains and long-distance trains across the Crimean Bridge were operating as per schedule on Sunday. Traffic on limited roads resumed on Saturday, about ten hours after the explosion.

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Aksionov said the peninsula had fuel for a month and food for more than two months. Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday that its forces in southern Ukraine could get a “full supply” through existing land and sea routes.

Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, and President Vladimir Putin inaugurated the 19-kilometre bridge connecting the region to its transport network with great fanfare four years later.

Kyiv is demanding that Russian forces leave the Black Sea peninsula, as well as Ukrainian lands captured in Putin’s invasion in February.

It is not yet clear whether Saturday’s blast was a deliberate attack, but the damage to this prominent structure came amid defeats for Russia on the battlefield, and could add insult to injury from the Kremlin’s reassurances that conflict is about to be planned.

Elsewhere, at least 12 people were killed as a result of shelling on the southeastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia in the early hours of Sunday morning, and 49 people were hospitalized, including six children, Ukrainian officials said.

Oleksandr Starukh, governor of the Zaporozhye region, said that a nine-storey building was partially destroyed during the night, and five other apartment buildings were flattened and more damaged in 12 Russian missile attacks.

Reuters could not independently verify the reports.

The city of Zaporizhia, located about 52 km from a Russian-controlled nuclear power plant and the largest in Europe, has been repeatedly bombed in recent weeks.

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main artery

The bridge over the Kerch Strait is a major artery for Russian forces in southern Ukraine, where they control most of the Kherson region and large parts of the Zaporizhzhya region, and the port of Sevastopol where the Russian Black Sea Fleet is based.

Russian officials said three people were killed in the blast early Saturday morning. On the bridge’s upper level, seven carriages carrying fuel from a 59-carriage train bound for the peninsula caught fire.

Today, Saturday, the Russian Federal Anti-Terrorism Agency said that a cargo truck exploded on the bridge road. She said two of the bridges have partially collapsed, but the arc that spans the channel through which ships travel between the Black Sea and the Sea of ‚Äč‚ÄčAzov has not been damaged.

Kirill Strimosov, the Russian-appointed deputy director of the Kherson region, said in a social media post that while the explosion “would not greatly affect the army’s supply”, there would be problems with Crimea’s logistics.

The blast came a day after Putin’s 70th birthday and also coincided with Russia’s third high-ranking military appointment in a week. Moscow appointed Air Force General Sergei Sorovikin to take charge of the invasion effort.

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Reporting by Max Hunder, Jonathan Landay, and Reuters Desk.

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.