Panic grips Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Crimea after explosion damages Kerch road and rail bridge
Damages due to the explosion on the Crimean Bridge amount to 200-500 million rubles (Photo:REUTERS/Stringer)
Shockwaves of panic have started propagating through Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula after an early-morning explosion downed part of the road bridge and damaged the rail section of the structure on Oct. 8.
With road and rail traffic between the occupied Ukrainian territory and Russian now suspended, a sea traffic jam has formed at the Kerch Strait, the Marine Traffic system reported.
According to the system, dozens of ships are now at anchor in the Sea of Azov, waiting to pass under the Kerch bridge. In addition, a traffic jam has formed from the Black Sea, consisting of a dozen vessels awaiting permission to pass.
The Russian Railways company announced that they had suspended ticket sales for trains to Crimea. Due to the explosion, all trains to and from the occupied peninsula that were supposed to depart in the near future will temporarily stop running.
Meanwhile, the "authorities" of the occupied peninsula limited the sale of groceries to 3 kilograms per person, the Russian propaganda news agency RIA reported.
“There are enough stocks of food, and non-food essentials in Crimea for up to 55 days, there are no reasons for increased demand,” the publication said.
The All-Russian Union of Insurers said that the damage from the explosion on the Crimean bridge was estimated at RUR 200-500 million ($3.2 million to $8 million).
While there are no official announcements regarding what happened to the illegally built Crimean Bridge, NV’s sources in law enforcement agencies said that the attack on the Crimean bridge was a special operation by Ukraine’s SBU security service.
The SBU has not commented on the claims that it was involved in the attack.
"We’re not going to comment on this,” SBU spokesman Artem Dekhtiarenko said. “We will comment on the role of the SBU and other state bodies of Ukraine in (activities in) Crimea after our final victory."
An explosion and fire hit the Crimean bridge early on Oct. 8. The bridge connects Russia and the Ukrainian peninsula it occupies, and is a vital route through which Russia moves reinforcements and supplies for its invasion forces.
The bridge is now partially destroyed, and traffic across it has been suspended. At first, the invaders stated that a “tank of fuel” had caught on fire, later they said that allegedly a truck had blown up on the Crimean bridge.
Russian authorities have not said how long it will take to repair the bridge.
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has ordered the creation of a government commission with regard to the "emergency" on the occupied peninsula.
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