A bridge that formed a major supply link between Russia and the Crimean peninsula, which Russia forcibly annexed from Ukraine in 2014, was severely damaged Saturday by an explosion.
The damage to a road bridge Russia has used to supply its war in Ukraine appeared to be major, according to CNN. Pieces of the 11-mile-long bridge fell into the waters below.
The extent of damage to a nearby rail link was unclear, although fuel tanks aboard a train were set afire due to the blast. Russia said three people were killed in the explosion. The bridge spans the Kerch Strait, which connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov.
The guided missile cruiser Moskva and the Kerch Bridge – two notorious symbols of russian power in Ukrainian Crimea – have gone down.
What’s next in line, russkies?
— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) October 8, 2022
The blast was caused by a bomb-laden truck that exploded as it passed over the bridge.
A report in The Washington Post said a Ukrainian government official it did not name said Ukraine’s special forces conducted the attack on the bridge.
Even without an official claim of responsibility, Russian officials blamed Ukraine.
“Ukrainian vandals somehow managed to get their bloody paws on the Crimean bridge,” Chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea Vladimir Konstantinov said, according to CNN.
WATCH: Moment of massive explosion on Crimea’s Kerch bridge. This is the only bridge to connect Russia to Crimea
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) October 8, 2022
Lawmakers in Russia’s Duma issued blistering threats against Ukraine
“The answer must be harsh, but not necessarily head-on,” lawmaker Leonid Slutsky said, according to the Post. “Russia has extensive experience in combating terrorists, and those who use their methods should also understand this very well.”
Duma Deputy Oleg Morozov called the attack “a declaration of war without rules,” according to The Washington Post.
For its part, Ukrainian leaders chortled at the destruction.
“Russian illegal construction is starting to collapse and catch fire. The reason is simple: if you build something explosive, sooner or later, it will explode. And this is just the beginning,” David Arakhamia, the head of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s party, said.
Crimea, the bridge, the beginning. Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be expelled. pic.twitter.com/yUiSwOLlDP
— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) October 8, 2022
“Crimea, the bridge, the beginning. Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be expelled,” Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to Zelenskyy, said.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that “the reaction of the Kyiv regime to the destruction of civilian infrastructure testifies to its terrorist nature,” CNN reported.
Kerch bridge this morning. pic.twitter.com/LClpslN00o
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) October 8, 2022
Footage reportedly of the explosion that hit the Crimean Bridge pic.twitter.com/qQR6nhsb6B
— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) October 8, 2022
However, in an August interview, Ukrainian Maj. Gen. Dmytro Marchenko said the bridge was a legitimate military target.
“This is a necessary measure in order to deprive them (Russia) of the opportunity to provide reserves and reinforce their troops from Russian territory,” he said.
Russia said that its investigators have tracked down the allowed owner of the truck and were going to interview him concerning the explosion.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.