Putin tasks FSB with oversee Crimean bridge after blast, journalists say

9 October 2022, 09:26 PM
Crimean bridge (Photo:REUTERS/Stringer)

Crimean bridge (Photo:REUTERS/Stringer)

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has instructed the FSB security service to “organize and coordinate security measures” of the Crimean bridge after a huge blast partly destroyed sections of its roadway on Oct. 8, BBC News Russian said on Telegram.

Previously, two federal enterprises were in charge of the bridge’s security. In 2022, they signed state bridge-related contracts worth more than $32 million.

In particular, by late July 2022, the federal state unitary enterprise “Management of Departmental Protection of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation” received about $850,000 per month under state contracts for bridge security.

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In August, the services rose in price to $107,000. In total, the security of the bridge’s road section should have cost Russia’s budget about $11 million in 2022.

According to the journalists, the agency also received an additional state contract for $9.9 million in April 2022 to upgrade the bridge with “technical means of ensuring traffic safety.”

The railway section of the bridge was overseen by the Southern branch of the federal state unitary enterprise “Departmental Protection of Railway Transport,” also known as “Zdohrana.”

The state contract for its services in 2022 will cost the Russian government $15 million. On Feb. 27, the agency also received an additional $1 million to maintain the safety systems of the bridge’s railway section. The contract clearly states that both the underbridge space and approaches to the bridge are subject to security.

An explosion and fire hit the Crimean bridge early on Oct. 8. The bridge connects Russia and the Ukrainian peninsula, which has been under Russian military occupation since 2014. The bridge is a vital route through which Russia moves reinforcements and supplies for its invasion forces in Ukraine.

It is not yet known when the bridge can be fully reopened to road and rail traffic.

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin tasked his government with setting up a commission due to the “emergency” on the occupied peninsula.

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