Crimea bridge explosion disrupts crucial supply route for Russian forces

Crimea bridge explosion disrupts crucial supply route for Russian forces

The Wall Street Journal reports:

A major explosion on Saturday severely damaged the bridge connecting Russia’s mainland to the occupied Crimean Peninsula, disrupting traffic on a crucial artery for the supply of fuel, military equipment and food to Russian troops fighting to hold ground in southern Ukraine.

The bridge, opened by President Vladimir Putin to great fanfare in 2018, was meant to symbolize the might of the Russian state and the permanence of Russia’s annexation of the peninsula four years earlier. Russia even released a feature movie about its construction.

Russia’s investigations committee said three people died after the early-morning explosion of a truck on the bridge’s roadway next to a supply train that was carrying fuel.

Mr. Putin signed a decree requiring the boosting of defenses for Crimean transportation and energy infrastructure links. The decree placed the country’s intelligence service, FSB, in charge of the measures.

Sergey Aksyonov, the Russian-appointed leader of Crimea, raised the terrorism alert level to high through Oct. 23.

Some demolition experts who analyzed footage of the blast questioned the Russian version and said that the explosion must have come from under the bridge, caused either by an explosives-laden boat, manned or unmanned, or by shaped charges placed by divers.

Tony Spamer, a former British Army expert on bridge demolitions, said a truck bomb would have created a hole in the middle of bridge but wouldn’t have been sufficient to cut the reinforcing bar and cause the structure to collapse. “You’ve got to attack the whole width of the bridge. Looking at it, it looks like it was attacked from underneath. It’s a monster job,” he said. [Continue reading…]

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