Massive explosion destroys only bridge to Crimea: Speculation grows that Ukraine used a boat or explosive-laden drone - despite Russian claims of truck bomb - as attack threatens Putin's supply lines
October 8, 2022
Three people were killed after a truck bomb caused a fire and the collapse of a section of the only bridge linking Russia with Crimea, Russian officials said.
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- A huge explosion has hit the only bridge between Crimea and Russia, a crucial supply line for Putin's forces
- Footage appears to show a truck exploding on the road section of the bridge and sabotage is suspected
- Russian officials have claimed a truck was searched on the bridge which then triggered the explosion
- However, a video appears to show a wave under the bridge which some think could be a bomb in the water
- Panic queues have formed at petrol stations in Crimea as officials said there was only enough fuel for 40 days
Footage of the explosion which destroyed the only bridge between Russia and Crimea shows a mysterious 'wave' just before the blast - leading to speculation a drone packed with explosives or a boat could have been the cause.
Russia has blamed a truck bomb for the explosion which killed at least three people, pointing the finger at Ukrainian saboteurs for the attack just hours after Vladimir Putin's birthday.
Videos show the blast rocking the Kerch Bridge linking the peninsula with the Russian mainland - despite Russian claims the bridge was protected with a maximum-security operation, including attack dolphins.
Russian law enforcement has identified Samir Yusubov, 25, from the Krasnodar region in Russia, as the alleged owner of the red-coloured International Prostar truck, which, according to investigators, exploded on the Crimean Bridge. They are still investigating who was driving the truck when it exploded.
The attack could cut supplies to Putin's forces as Ukraine makes more advances in the south towards Kherson. A section of the bridge has collapsed into the sea and seven oil tankers on a train caught fire in the blast.
Long fuel lines are already forming in Crimea, despite Russian claims to have enough supplies to last two weeks.
Although Kyiv has not claimed responsibility for the attack, one Ukrainian official boasted that 'Putin should be happy. Not everyone gets such an expensive birthday present' - a reference to the Russian president's 70th birthday yesterday.
The bridge opened by Vladimir Putin in 2018 was supposed to be protected by land, sea and air - including a high-tech truck scanner for detecting explosives.
However, images released show the truck suspected of causing the explosion being briefly searched by officials before being allowed on its way.
BREAKING: Surveillance video shows massive explosion on the Crimean Bridge pic.twitter.com/jo3yZK3L0I— BNO News (@BNONews) October 8, 2022
Closer look at the collapsed road span of the Crimean bridge pic.twitter.com/ZW1OOAKdns— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) October 8, 2022
Footage reportedly of the explosion that hit the Crimean Bridge pic.twitter.com/qQR6nhsb6B— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) October 8, 2022
Video of damage to the Crimean Bridge. https://t.co/roEjIKH19B pic.twitter.com/DwsS5O625g— Rob Lee (@RALee85) October 8, 2022
Ukrainian officials would not confirm or deny any involvement in the blast until Ukraine's 'final victory'.
There have also been reports of another rail line to Crimea being cut in what some have claimed were co-ordinated strikes on Russian supply lines.
There were suggestions Putin may address the nation on the bridge explosion amid fears he will unleash havoc on Ukraine.
He has already hinted that he could use nuclear weapons in the war with Ukraine.
A senior Ukrainian official welcomed the news of the explosion, saying he hoped it would help to drive Russia out of the country.
Mykhailo Podolyak, advisor to President Zelensky, said on Twitter: 'Crimea, the bridge, the beginning.
'Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be expelled.'
The Ukrainian defence ministry said on social media: 'The guided missile cruiser Moskva and the Kerch Bridge - two notorious symbols of Ukrainian Crimea - have gone down. What's next in line, russkis?'
The massive blast, suspected to have been carried out by Ukrainian saboteurs, rocked the bridge early this morning.
Images appear to show movement in the water under the bridge a split second before the explosion which brought down the road bridge and set fire to oil tankers.
The Kerch Bridge is the only direct link between Russia and Crimea and is a crucial supply line for Russian forces in Ukraine.
Russian officials have said they hope trains would be able to run tonight despite the extent of the damage.
The Russian transport ministry said: 'Restoration work is being carried out.
'The progress of the restoration work and the restoration of traffic will be reported additionally.'
The entrances at both ends are equipped with Russian-designed ST-6035 'stationary radio-technical inspection complexes' for finding explosives.
'The fire is now being extinguished on the Crimean bridge,' said Crimean official Oleg Kryuchkov.
'As soon as it is over, the damage to the bridge will be assessed, and then we can talk about the restoration timeline.'
Huge queues appeared at petrol stations in Crimea in the wake of the bridge's destruction, soon after the Russian puppet authorities said there was petrol for 40 days. Other sources said there was only 15 days of fuel as panic buyers queued for hours.
Locals were also rationed to 3kg of essential groceries amid fears for supplies, according to reports on the peninsula.
A video shows a Russian man in Crimea saying: 'We've had a good life, but it was short-lived
'The ways [of escape] are now cut off.'
Pro-Putin military correspondent Yuri Kotyonok joined a wave of demands for overwhelming Russian attacks on Ukraine.
'The answer for blowing up the bridge should be crushing. The question is not about revenge, but about punishment and our capacity as a state responding to terrorist attacks.
'The Crimean Bridge will certainly be restored. I hope that they will do it promptly — within a few months. He asked for answers on why 'targets in Kyiv are still intact'.
Yuri Podolyaka, a popular pro-Rus blogger, said: 'It looks like this is the prelude to the main strike of the Ukrainians in the south.
'If over the next few days Ukraine does not plunge into darkness and strikes are not carried out on the bridges across the Dnieper, I personally will consider it a sign of an [epic failure].'
Vladimir Rogov, chairman of 'We are Together with Russia' movement, and a key official in occupied Ukraine, said: 'The Crimean bridge has been blown up. Both the road and railway lines have been cut.
'The [Ukraine] terrorist entity must be destroyed.'
He published exact map coordinates of targets he wanted hit in Ukraine.
The fire occurred hours after explosions rocked the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv early on Saturday, sending plumes of smoke into the sky and triggering a series of secondary explosions.
Kharkiv mayor Ihor Terekhov said the early-morning explosions were the result of missile strikes in the centre of the city.
He added that the blasts sparked fires at one of the city's medical institutions and a non-residential building. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Russian officials said they faced an 'emergency' on the bridge with the train on fire.
A Russian Telegram channel said: 'It is likely that an improvised explosive device hidden in any of the passing vehicles was detonated.'
storage tank catching fire at 6am local time but it was unclear if a bomb or missile had caused the ignition.
Oleg Kryuchkov, aide to the Kremlin-appointed head of annexed Crimea, said: 'According to preliminary information, a fuel storage tank is on fire….
'Navigable arches were not damaged.
'It is too early to speak about causes and consequences.
'Work to extinguish the blaze is under way.'
Russian-controlled Crimean Railways said: 'A fuel tank at the tail of a freight train caught fire.
'The locomotive with some carriages was brought to Kerch station.'
Ukraine in recent days has grown more ambitious in its predictions that it will retake Crimea - annexed by Russia in 2014.
Rybar, a pro-Russian Telegram channel reported:'There was an explosion at around 6am on one of the sections of the Crimean Bridge.
'According to official reports, a fuel tanker caught fire.
'Road services and the Emergencies Ministry are working at the scene of the fire and traffic has been temporarily suspended.
'However, photos and video footage show one of the vehicles being put out of action, which in no way could have happened due to a simple fire.
'It is likely that an improvised explosive device hidden in any of the passing vehicles was detonated.'
Pro-Kremlin war reporter Andrey Rudenko asked: 'What kind of power did the explosion have to for a span of the bridge to go under water?
'It is quite possible to assume that the main explosion was underwater.
'At the beginning of the year, there were reports that the West had supplied Ukraine with underwater kamikaze drones.'
Speculation is mounting that a drone was used to blow up the bridge. This image handed out by the Russian Ministry of Defence shows what was claimed to be a mystery Ukrainian drone found near Crimea.
The apparent attack came the day after Vladimir Putin's 70th birthday.
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