New Delhi: Authorities in Moscow said on Saturday that a fire caused by a truck bomb had broken out on a key road and rail bridge linking Crimea with Russia, causing a section to collapse. Russia annexed the territory from Ukraine in 2014.
According to the Associate Press, the Russian National Anti-Terrorism Committee informed that the truck bomb had set fire to seven wagons carrying fuel, resulting in a “partial collapse of two sections of the bridge”.
“Today at 06:07 (03:07 GMT) on the road traffic side of the Crimean Bridge…a car bomb exploded, setting fire to seven oil tankers being transported by rail to Crimea,” the National Anti-Terrorism Committee said. Russian. quoted by Russian news agencies quoted by AFP news agency.
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The bridge was built by order of Russian President Vladimir Putin and opened in 2018.
According to the AFP report, it was a key transport link for transporting military equipment to Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine, especially in the south, as well as for transporting troops there. If the bridge is rendered inoperable, Russia will face more challenges getting supplies to the peninsula.
According to the AP, the Russian National Anti-Terrorism Committee informed that the explosion and the fire led to the collapse of the two sections of one of the two links of the car bridge, while another link was intact. The bridge has train and automobile sections.
Commuter train traffic on the bridge is suspended until further notice. President Putin was informed of the explosion. He ordered the creation of a government panel to deal with the emergency, according to the AP report.
Ukraine has regained almost 2,500 km2 in its counter-offensive: Zelenskyy
It comes after Russian forces said they captured ground in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, their first claim to further gains since Kyiv gained momentum with a counter-offensive. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine had recaptured nearly 2,500 square kilometers in its counteroffensive.
“Since the beginning of October, more than (500 square kilometers) have been liberated from Russian occupiers in the Kherson region alone,” Zelenskyy announced Thursday evening in his evening speech, quoted by AFP.
The proclaimed victories in the southern region of Kherson were part of a series of Russian defeats undermining the Kremlin’s claim to have annexed around 20% of Ukraine.
As for the bridge, Russia had maintained that it was safe despite the armed offensive in Ukraine. Moscow had threatened Kyiv with consequences if attacked.
More details on the car bomb explosion are awaited.