Crimea Bridge Blast: Bridge Partially Reopens Day after Attack as Russia Retaliates – News18
The Russian government said that the bridge linking Russia to Crimea was partially reopened a day after it was attacked. The BBC , citing a Russian official, said that vehicles were using a single lane of the bridge across the Kerch Strait.
Russia blames Ukraine for launching seaborne drones to attack the bridge on Monday which led to the death of a couple and injured their daughter. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday evening warned that the Kremlin would respond.
On Tuesday, Russia said it carried out a “retaliation strike” against sites in Ukraine’s Odessa port, claiming that these sites were involved in planning an attack on Moscow’s bridge to Crimea.
“At night, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation delivered a group retaliation strike with high-precision sea-based weapons at facilities where terrorist acts against Russia had been prepared using unmanned boats,” the Russian Army said in a statement, accessed by AFP.
Ukrainian officials also said that a Russian overnight strike damaged port infrastructure facilities in southern Ukraine’s Odessa. They said that they managed to down six Kalibr missiles launched towards Odessa and 21 Iran-built attack drones using their air defence.
They said that debris from the downed missiles and the blast wave from the downing damaged port infrastructure facilities and several private homes.
Russia’s deputy prime minister Marat Khusnullin said he hoped that the two-way traffic on the Crimea Bridge could be restored by mid-September. The authorities said that the span of the bridge was impacted but the structure remained intact.
The bridge is crucial because it is being used to supply weapons and other necessary items to Russians fighting inside Ukraine. Crimea was annexed by Russia in 2014 following a referendum that Ukraine and the international community does not recognise.
The railway line running parallel to the bridge also remains undamaged. The BBC Russian citing a highly-placed Ukrainian familiar with the developments said that Ukraine was behind the attack and used water-based drones for the attack but Ukraine has refrained from making any official statement.
The bridge was partially closed after an attack in October. It was reopened this February.
Russia has maintained that its refusal to extend the grain deal is not connected to the attacks.
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