An explosion at a crucial bridge has sparked celebrations in Ukraine and calls for revenge among Putin’s allies. The Kerch Bridge is an important supply route between Russia and the Ukrainian peninsula. Putin’s allies, blaming Ukraine, called it a “terrorist attack” and demanded a response. Something is loading.
Thank you for your registration!
Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed on the go. download app
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s allies are calling for a swift response after an explosion at a crucial bridge linking the Crimean peninsula with mainland Russia.
The Kerch Bridge collapsed around 6 a.m. local time on Saturday after a truck explosion set off tankers as a train passed through, Russian officials said.
Putin immediately ordered an investigation into the source of the blast, but some in Russia were quick to blame Ukraine. Some Ukrainian officials have subtly hinted they may have been behind the explosion, which occurred the day after the Russian president’s 70th birthday, but Ukraine has not officially taken responsibility.
The bridge provides a road and rail link between Russia and Crimea, the Ukrainian territory that Russia illegally annexed in 2014. It serves as a key supply route for the transport of essential goods like fuel and equipment to the forces. Russians, who are already in trouble as they try to repel further Ukrainian counter-offensives.
The bridge also held personal significance for Putin, who oversaw its opening in 2018 by driving a truck over it in a symbolic spectacle of Crimea’s bond with Russia.
—Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) October 8, 2022
Saturday’s explosion was called a humiliation for Putin because of both the bridge’s strategic and symbolic importance, and opened him up to further public criticism over his handling of the war in Ukraine.
Some of its allies have publicly demanded retaliation, certain that Ukraine was behind the explosion.
Sergei Markov, a politician and former adviser to Putin, called the bridge blast a “terrorist attack” in a Telegram message and said it showed that “the United States and its Ukrainian proxy regime will move the line red further and further,” Politico Europe reported.
“No response from Russia? Even further. And still? Even further,” he wrote, urging Moscow to respond.
The explosion was also called a “terrorist attack” by Konstantin Dolgov, a member of the Russian parliament, according to Politico Europe. He called it “another sinister manifestation of the terrorist nature of the Kyiv puppet regime”, adding: “Terrorists must be dealt with unequivocally!
The calls for revenge come as Putin and the Russian military have come under increasing criticism in recent weeks, including from members of his inner circle, according to reports.
Although Ukraine did not claim responsibility for the attack, the bridge explosion was celebrated by Ukrainians.