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The bridge to Crimea is crucial to Russia’s war effort in Ukraine and to asserting Moscow’s control | AP News

The bridge to Crimea is crucial to Russia’s war effort in Ukraine and to asserting Moscow’s control | AP News

The bridge connecting Crimea and Russia carries heavy significance for Moscow, both logistically and psychologically, as a key artery for military and civilian supplies and as an assertion of Kremlin control of the peninsula it illegally annexed in 2014.

An attack on the bridge before dawn Monday, killing a couple and seriously injuring their daughter, left a span of the roadway hanging perilously. The damage initially appeared to be less severe than what was caused by an assault in October, but it highlighted the bridge’s vulnerability.

Russia blamed Ukraine for both attacks. A spokesman for the Ukrainian Security Service on Monday did not directly acknowledge responsibility but said the service would reveal details about organizing the blast once Ukraine achieves victory in the war.

Other news

Russia has halted a breakthrough wartime deal that allows grain to flow from Ukraine to countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where hunger is a growing threat and high food prices have pushed people into poverty.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview published Sunday that Russia has a “sufficient stockpile” of cluster munitions, warning that Russia “reserves the right to take reciprocal action” if Ukraine uses the controversial weapons.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative has allowed 32.8 million metric tons (36.2 million tons) of food to be exported from Ukraine since last August, more than half to developing countries, including those getting relief from the World Food Program.

Serbian authorities have allowed into the country a Russian antiwar activist who was previously denied entry and had spent more than one day at the Belgrade airport.


The Crimean Peninsula extends south from Ukraine’s mainland, with road connections on two isthmuses, one of which is less than 2 kilometers (1 mile) wide, and by a bridge from a narrow spit. Those links to Ukraine go into territory occupied by Russian forces that come under attack from the Ukrainian military.

The bridge, which connects Crimea’s eastern extremity with Russia’s Krasnodar region, provides the only fixed link that steers clear of the disputed territory.

The 19-kilometer (12-mile) bridge over the Kerch Strait that links the Black and Azov seas carries road and rail traffic on separate sections and is vital to sustaining Russia’s military operations in southern Ukraine.


The bridge is the longest in Europe and a subject of considerable pride in Russia. Construction began in 2016, about two years after Russia’s annexation, and was completed in little more than two years. The pace of construction was impressive but led some critics to question whether it was hastily designed and built.

The bridge was constructed despite strong objections from Ukraine and is the most visible and constant reminder of Russia’s claim over Crimea.

President Vladimir Putin drove across the bridge at its formal opening. Putin is also closely connected to construction tycoon Arkady Rotenberg, whose company got the $3.5 billion contract for the bridge.


Rail traffic on the bridge reportedly was restored within a few hours Monday but it was unclear when full road service could be restored. Ferries were being organized to try to ease the burden, but it was not immediately clear whether the vessels could accommodate demand. Crimea’s beaches and mountains are popular with summer tourists.

Russian authorities advised people who wanted to leave Crimea quickly to go via Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine. That would add up to 600 kilometers (350 miles) to their journey and likely raise their anxiety about going through insecure areas.

Russian officials denounced Monday’s attack but did not immediately specify retaliatory measures, although Russia has responded with cruise missiles and drone barrages to other Ukrainian attacks.


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