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Putin orders tighter security on key bridge from Russia to Crimea after explosion

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree increasing security for the bridge connecting the Crimean Peninsula and Russia following an explosion that caused some of it to collapse.

The damage to the bridge has blocked an important supply route for Russia’s war in south Ukraine. This is a strike against a symbol of Russian power within the region.

Three people were killed in the explosion, but no one has claimed responsibility.

This comes as Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, is conducting a rescue operation after Russian shelling damaged apartment buildings. At least 12 people were killed in the attack.

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On Sunday, Russian divers will inspect the damage done to the Kerch Strait bridge.

According to the National Anti-Terrorism Committee, a truck bomb set seven railroad cars on fire. This caused the “partial collapse” of two sections.

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Russia’s Investigative Committee stated that a man and woman who were riding on a vehicle over the bridge were both killed. The third victim did not get identified by the Investigative Committee.

All vehicles that cross the bridge should be subject to explosives testing.

According to the Investigative Committee, the truck that burst was owned by a Krasnodar resident in southern Russia. The Investigative Committee stated that his house was searched and that experts were looking into the truck’s route.

Russian authorities claimed that the attack was a terrorist act by Ukraine.

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What is the significance of the Crimean Bridge Attack?

Traffic by train and automobile over the bridge was temporarily suspended, but traffic resumed on Saturday afternoon using one of the two remaining links, according to Sergey Aksyonov, Crimea’s Russian-backed leader.

Slowly, rail traffic resumed with two passenger trains departing the Crimean cities Sevastopol & Simferopol heading towards the bridge Saturday evening.

Putin has given Russia’s federal security agency, the FSB, responsibility for security of the energy infrastructure and bridge between Russia and Crimea.

The Russian defence ministry announced that General Sergei Surovikin, the chief of the air force, would now be in charge of Russian troops in Ukraine, hours after the explosion. He was previously the commander of Russian forces in Syria, and has been accused of leading a bombardment that decimated much of Aleppo.

Kerch Bridge is a 12-mile (19km) bridge that spans a strait connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov. It is essential for Russia’s military supply lines in the southern Ukraine.

Putin presided over the 2018 opening of the PS3.5bn bridge. It is the longest bridge in Europe.

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2018: Putin opens Crimea bridge

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian President, indirectly acknowledged the attack on that bridge, but didn’t address the cause.

A search and rescue operation in Zaporizhzhia is ongoing.

Overnight, Russian shells struck apartment buildings with at least 12 deaths.

However, since then, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces has stated that “dozens” of people were killed or seriously injured.

The city is located in the Ukrainian-controlled region of a region annexed last week by Vladimir Putin – a move that was not recognized by other world power.

Anatoliy Kurtev, secretary of the city council, stated that at least five private homes were destroyed and 40 were damaged.

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