Putin Says Ukraine Is Responsible for Crimea Bridge Explosion, Calls It Terrorism

Putin Says Ukraine Is Responsible for Crimea Bridge Explosion, Calls It Terrorism
Black smoke billows from a fire on the Kerch bridge that links Crimea to Russia, after a truck exploded, near Kerch, on Oct. 8, 2022. (AFP via Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday said that the explosion on a bridge to Crimea was caused by Ukrainian forces, describing the incident as a terrorist attack.

The explosion, he said in public remarks, is a “terrorist attack aimed at destroying critical Russian civilian infrastructure” and blamed “Ukrainian secret services” for it.

Putin added that the Russian Security Service, or FSB, has told him that the suspects behind the attack were identified. Ukrainian security services were assisted by some Russian or foreign nationals, Putin said, citing the FSB.

Ukraine’s leadership has not claimed responsibility for Saturday’s explosion on the bridge over the Kerch Strait, although the incident prompted gleeful messages from Ukrainian officials. Images showed that the blast blew away half of a section of the bridge’s roadway, and the other half is still attached.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin said divers would start work on Sunday examining damage to the Crimea Bridge, with a more detailed survey above the waterline expected to be complete by day’s end, Russian news agencies reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a speech during a ceremony formally annexing four regions of Ukraine under Russian troops control at the Kremlin in Moscow on Sept. 30, 2022. (Grigory Sysoyev/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)

Other Details

The White House declined direct comment on the explosion that damaged the Crimea Bridge on Sunday but said the United States would continue to arm Ukraine.

“We don’t really have anything more to add to the reports about the explosion on the bridge,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

Russia’s federal anti-terrorism agency said on Saturday that a freight truck blew up on the bridge’s roadway. It said two spans of road bridge had partially collapsed, but that the arch spanning the channel through which ships travel between the Black Sea and Azov Sea was not damaged.

Khusnullin on Sunday wrote on Telegram that car traffic on the bridge has resumed on two lanes. He also posted a video showing traffic moving along the bridge.

“Lighting was adjusted on the road part, new markings were applied, barrier fences were restored,” Khusnullin said. “Now it will be possible to drive faster on the bridge by car.”

John Kirby
John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, speaks during a press briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on June 21, 2022. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images)

Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and the 12-mile bridge linking the region to its transport network was opened with great fanfare four years later by Russian officials. The bridge is a major artery for Russian forces in southern Ukraine and for the port of Sevastopol, where the Russian Black Sea fleet is based.

Kyiv demands that Russian forces leave the Black Sea peninsula along with Ukrainian territory that Russia took over at the start of the conflict in February.

Nuclear Warning

Meanwhile, Kirby and other White House officials were forced to do damage control following President Joe Biden’s public remarks last week that the world is moving towards nuclear “armageddon” amid the Ukraine-Russia war.

“The president was reflecting the very high stakes that are in play right now,” Kerry told ABC’s “This Week.”

“When you have modern nuclear power and the leader of that modern nuclear power willing to use irresponsible rhetoric the way that Mr. Putin has several times in just the last week or two, as well as the high tension in Ukraine over just the course of the last few days,” he added. “So the president, I think, was accurately reflecting the fact that the stakes are very high right now.”

But Kirby stressed that Biden’s comment was not based on any new U.S. intelligence. Biden was speaking at a Democrat fundraiser when he said the United States has “not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis” in the 1960s.

U.S. officials, he added Sunday, have seen no new indicators that would force a change in U.S. nuclear posture.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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