Traffic on major bridge from Crimea to mainland Russia halted, explosions, deaths reported

Tallinn – Traffic on a key bridge linking Crimea to mainland Russia was halted on Monday following reports of an explosion that Crimean authorities said was caused by a Ukrainian attack.

The Ministry of Health of Russia’s Krasnodar region, at the eastern end of the bridge, said two people were killed and a daughter injured in an unexplained accident on the bridge.

Crimean parliamentary speaker Vladimir Kostantinov said there had been an attack on the bridge and blamed it on Ukraine’s “terror regime”.

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

The bridge over the Kerch Strait was damaged by a truck bomb in October and required months of repairs before it was fully reopened. 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 an explosion in the early hours of Monday.

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

A video posted by the online news channel Crimea 24 showed part of the bridge leaning and drooping, but there was no sign of any part falling into the water.

The 19-kilometer-long bridge opened in 2018 and is the main land route connecting Russia and the Crimean peninsula.

Ukrainian Military Intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov declined to comment on the incident on Monday, but said: “Russia is using the peninsula as a large logistical hub to move troops and assets deep into Ukrainian territory. ‘ said. Of course, logistical issues are even more complicated for the occupiers. ”

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