Russian authorities say a truck bomb caused a fire and damage to key Crimea bridge

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This video clip seize taken and launched on Oct. 8, 2022 reveals thick black smoke climbing from a fire on the Kerch bridge that links Crimea to Russia.

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Russian authorities claimed on Saturday that a big blaze erupted on the only bridge linking mainland Russia to the occupied Crimean Peninsula.

Russian point out-backed media cited the countrywide anti-terrorism committee as indicating that a truck exploded on the highway traffic facet of the Kerch bridge at 6:07 a.m. nearby time in advance of the road partially collapsed.

The blaze reportedly set hearth to seven oil tankers remaining carried by rail to Crimea, with thick black smoke observed climbing into the sky.

The Kerch bridge, occasionally referred to as the Crimean bridge, is 1 of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s prestige tasks. It was built on his orders shortly right after the Kremlin annexed Crimea in 2014 to assistance Moscow’s promises to the territory.

A symbol of despise to Ukrainians, the 19-kilometer (12-mile) crossing is a pair of highway and rail bridges spanning the Kerch Strait that Russia utilizes to move army devices into Ukraine.

A screen get from a surveillance footage displays flames and smoke increasing up right after an explosion at the Kerch bridge in the Kerch Strait, Crimea, Oct. 8, 2022.

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The claimed truck explosion comes one particular working day soon after Putin’s 70th birthday and at a time when the Kremlin’s months-prolonged invasion of Ukraine has incurred a string of humiliating setbacks in current weeks.

Illustrations or photos and video clips shared on social media appeared to present the scale of the hearth and injury.

CNBC was not in a position to independently validate the authenticity of these reviews and illustrations or photos.

‘Crimea, the bridge, the beginning’

The head of the Russian-set up regional parliament in Crimea, Vladimir Konstantinov, blamed the incident on “Ukrainian vandals, who have eventually managed to achieve their bloody fingers to the Crimean bridge,” in accordance to the BBC.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, stated that the problems was “the beginning,” while stopped shorter of proclaiming Kyiv was accountable.

“Crimea, the bridge, the beginning. Anything illegal will have to be destroyed, everything stolen should be returned to Ukraine, almost everything occupied by Russia should be expelled,” Podolyak claimed via Twitter.

The official Twitter account of the Ukrainian government, in the meantime, appeared to answer to the incident by expressing, “unwell burn.”

People today pose for photographs in front of a photo of a postage stamp demonstrating an artists impression of the Kerch bridge on fire on Oct. 8, 2022 in central Kyiv, Ukraine.

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Russian media noted that site visitors experienced been suspended because of to the incident and emergency and road company staff were operating at the web site to contain the blaze.

“In accordance to preliminary information, a fuel storage tank is on hearth … Navigable arches were being not damaged. It is too early to converse about leads to and repercussions. Perform to extinguish the blaze is underway,” Oleg Kryuchko, an aide to the Russian profession head of Crimea claimed through Telegram, according to TASS news agency.

The incident arrives hrs soon after Russia concentrated its hottest barrage of assaults on areas of Ukraine it illegally annexed.

In what the West explained as sham referendums, Putin declared “four new locations of Russia” late very last thirty day period as Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson areas.

Kyiv has mentioned it will not quit battling until eventually it has reclaimed each final inch of land misplaced to Russia.

Meanwhile, Moscow has claimed it has “the suitable” to use nuclear weapons to protect its territory and citizens if it feels there is an existential threat, or even if it truly is attacked by conventional weapons.

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