A major fire broke out on a bridge on the Crimean peninsula in Russian-occupied Ukraine on Saturday morning. Russia claims the fire started from a huge fuel tanker. Following the incident, Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, called Russia’s losses ‘just the beginning’. However, Ukraine did not accept direct responsibility for the incident. BBC news.
“Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be destroyed,” Mykhailo Podoliak tweeted.
Due to the fire on the bridge, normal traffic has been stopped since morning. The explosion on the road section caused oil tankers to catch fire on the rail section.
Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Moscow is using the bridge to supply military equipment to Ukraine in the current war.
The Ukrainian government’s official Twitter account responded to the fire by tweeting, ‘Explosion fire.’
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry compared the bridge explosion to the sinking of the Russian missile cruiser Moskva in April. In a tweet, the ministry said, ‘Two infamous symbols of Russian power have disappeared in Ukrainian Crimea. What happens next?’
It is difficult to describe the significance and importance of the burning bridge. In 2018, Putin opened the bridge to show that Crimea is part of Russia.
The bridge was used by Moscow to transport military equipment, ammunition and personnel from Russia to the battlefield in southern Ukraine.
Ukrainian authorities said it was a legitimate goal, as they pledged to retake the peninsula.
Any attack on Crimea, which has a large Russian military presence, would be seen as an affront to the Kremlin.
Ukrainians especially hate the bridge. Ukrainians were seen cheering after pictures and videos of the bridge on fire went viral on social media. The incident happened just a day after Putin’s 70th birthday.
Local authorities in Crimea have said they will launch a ferry service between the Russian mainland and the peninsula as road and rail traffic over the bridge is closed.
Crimean parliamentary speaker Vladimir Konstantinov blamed the explosion on Ukrainian vandals. He said the damage to the bridge ‘will be quickly repaired, because nothing serious has happened to it.’
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying President Putin had been informed of the bridge’s “emergency situation” and had ordered an official investigation.
The construction of this 19 km bridge cost 2.7 billion dollars. President Putin inaugurated the bridge four years after annexing Crimea. It is the longest bridge in Europe. Russian media also hailed it as the ‘construction of the century’. Russian officials previously claimed it was protected from air, land or water threats.
The bridge crossing is more than 100 miles from Ukrainian-controlled territory. An explosives expert told the BBC it was unlikely the fire was caused by a missile. The lack of obvious blast or fragmentation damage to the road surface indicates that no air-delivered weapon was used in the incident.
He also said it could also be due to a well-planned attack from below.