Crimean Bridge Suffers Damage and Casualties in Alleged Strikes – Investigation Underway

AP Standards Article: Crimean Bridge Suffers Damage, Multiple Deaths Reported

An emergency incident has caused damage to the Crimean Bridge, the sole link between Crimea and Russia, according to Russia’s Transport Ministry. The bridge spans the Kerch Strait and serves as a vital logistical node for Moscow’s military operations in Ukraine. Reports indicate that two strikes occurred on the bridge, resulting in its partial collapse and the deaths of at least two individuals. The exact cause of the incident is yet to be determined, and CNN is unable to independently verify the reports.

Videos shared on Telegram by various Crimean news outlets showed the collapsed section of the bridge and a damaged vehicle. The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, confirmed the deaths of two people and the injury of one person, who was a child traveling with her parents in the damaged car. Emergency responders and law enforcement have been dispatched to the scene, while an inspection of the bridge is currently underway.

The nearly 12-mile Crimean Bridge, also known as the Kerch Bridge, holds strategic and symbolic significance for Russia. It was constructed at a cost of around $3.7 billion after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, reflecting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s objective of binding Ukraine to Russia permanently. The bridge facilitates the transportation of daily necessities, military supplies, fuel, and goods both to Crimea’s civilians and the military stationed there.

Following a massive blast in October 2022, which severely damaged the bridge, Russia prioritized repairs and fully reopened it in February this year. Although the exact cause of the recent damage remains unknown, a Ukrainian official suggested that logistical problems for Russia could potentially benefit Ukrainian defense forces.

In conclusion, the Crimean Bridge has suffered damage to its spans, resulting in multiple deaths and halting traffic. The bridge’s significance to Russia cannot be overstated, as it enables the supply of crucial resources to Crimea. The cause of the incident is still under investigation, and its implications for the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine remain uncertain.