Crimean Bridge Damaged: Two Deaths Reported in Recent Strikes, Urgent Inspection Underway

Crimean Bridge Suffers Damage in Possible Attack

In a recent incident, the Crimean Bridge, the only link between the contested peninsula and Russia, has reportedly suffered damage to its spans. Russia’s Transport Ministry announced the damage, while multiple Telegram channels reported possible strikes on the bridge. The local official further confirmed that at least two deaths had occurred. The bridge, which serves as a vital logistical node for Moscow’s military operations against Ukraine, experienced a similar incident last October, when a blast partially damaged it, leading to the collapse of certain sections.

According to the Telegram channel Grey Zone, which supports the Wagner mercenary group, two strikes were allegedly carried out on the bridge around 3 a.m. local time, resulting in damage. While CNN is unable to independently verify these reports, videos posted on Telegram by various Crimean news outlets appeared to show part of the bridge collapsed and a vehicle damaged.

The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, confirmed that two people were killed and another person was injured in the incident. A girl was among the injured, while her parents lost their lives when the car they were traveling in was damaged. Emergency responders and law enforcement have been dispatched to the scene, and an inspection of the bridge is currently underway, according to Sergey Aksenov, the Russia-appointed head of Crimea.

The Crimean Bridge, also known as the Kerch Bridge, is of crucial strategic and symbolic importance to Russia. It is the longest bridge in Europe, stretching nearly 12 miles, and facilitates both road and rail traffic. The bridge holds great significance for the Kremlin, as it serves as a direct connection between Russia and the annexed Crimean Peninsula. It was constructed after Moscow’s illegal annexation of the Ukrainian territory in 2014 and stands as a testament to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s objective of binding Ukraine to Russia permanently.

This incident, along with the previous blast in October 2020, emphasizes the vulnerability of the bridge and the challenges it faces. The bridge is of utmost importance for supplying Crimea with essential resources, including fuel, food, industrial goods, and military supplies. Therefore, any disruption or damage to the bridge has significant implications for both the civilian population and the military presence in the region.

While the exact cause and responsible party for the recent damage remain uncertain, the incident raises concerns about the ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine. The conflict between the two nations has been ongoing since 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea, leading to a prolonged state of conflict and territorial dispute. The Crimean Bridge has been a contentious symbol throughout this conflict, and any damage inflicted upon it represents an escalation in hostilities.

It is yet to be determined how long the repairs to the bridge will take and the impact it will have on transportation to and from Crimea. In the meantime, residents and travelers are urged to consider alternative land routes. This incident serves as a harsh reminder of the ongoing tensions in the region and the fragile nature of the Crimean Bridge, which plays a critical role in the geopolitical dynamics between Russia and Ukraine.