Three dead in blast on Crimean bridge, traffic restored
The head of the Crimean Peninsula says the bridge has reopened to car traffic after it was heavily damaged by the explosion.
The Russian Investigative Committee confirmed on Friday that three people have died in the blast on the Crimean Bridge.
In a statement, the Committee indicated that "according to preliminary data, three people died as a result of the incident. They were presumably passengers of a car, which was near the exploded track."
"As of now, the bodies of a man and a woman have been recovered from the water, their identities are being established," the Committee mentioned.
Earlier in the day, the Russian National Anti-Terrorist Committee reported that a truck exploded on the Crimean Bridge.
"Today, at 6:07 am, a truck was blown up on the motorway section of the Crimean Bridge from the Taman Peninsula, which caused seven fuel tanks of a train traveling to the Crimean peninsula to go up in flames," the Committee explained
"Two motorway sections of the bridge have partially collapsed. The arch over the land part of the bridge has not been damaged," it noted.
On his part, Sergei Aksyonov, head of the Crimean Peninsula, said the bridge has reopened to car traffic after it was heavily damaged by the explosion.
"Road traffic has begun on the Crimea bridge," Aksyonov confirmed on Telegram, adding that there are "full inspection procedures" for buses and cars that are using the bridge.
The Russian Ministry of Transport told Sputnik that passenger and cargo vehicles will be able to travel to Crimea unhindered after both road and railway traffic on the Crimean Bridge is restored.
"Transportation of passengers and cargo in the direction of Crimea will be ensured in full," the Ministry said.
Following the attack, Vladimir Konstantinov, head of the Crimean parliament, said, "Ukrainian vandals managed to reach the Crimean Bridge with their bloody hands. They now have something to be proud of: for 23 years of their management, they failed to build anything worthy of attention in Crimea, but they managed to damage the canvas of the Russian bridge."
"This is the whole essence of the Kiev regime and the Ukrainian state. Death and destruction are the only things of which they are capable," Konstantinov wrote on his Telegram.
Reaction to Crimea blast exhibits Kiev's "terrorist nature": Zakharova
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova slammed Kiev's statements, saying that Ukraine's reaction to the Crimea Bridge explosion speaks to the "terrorist nature" of its leadership.
"The reaction of the Kiev regime to the destruction of civilian infrastructure testifies to its terrorist nature," Zakharova wrote on Telegram.
After the blast, the political advisor to Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mykhailo Podolyak, said the blasting of the Crimea Bridge was just "the beginning".
Crimea, the bridge, the beginning. Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be expelled. pic.twitter.com/yUiSwOLlDP— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) October 8, 2022
"Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be expelled," Podolyak wrote, hinting at Kiev's role in the attack.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry also tweeted that "the guided missile cruiser Moskva and the Kerch Bridge – two notorious symbols of Russian power in Ukrainian Crimea – have gone down. What’s next in line, russkies [Russians]?"
Russia's State Duma: Crimea Bridge blast "declaration of war"
In response to the blast, Russia’s State Duma considered that "the terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge is no longer just a challenge, but a declaration of war without rules."
Speaking to RIA Novosti, Deputy Oleg Morozov said that the explosion showcases that "a blatant terrorist war is being waged against us," adding that if there is no "adequate" response, such acts of aggression would be more likely to occur.
It is noteworthy that on several previous occasions, Ukrainian authorities have promised to attack the Kerch Bridge which connects the Crimean Peninsula to the Krasnodar Region in Russia.
In August, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that the country will return to "Russian-occupied Crimea" in whatever way it sees fit, without consulting with other countries, Ukrinform reported.
"We know what we are doing. We know where military facilities or warehouses are located in the temporarily occupied territories. The Ukrainian military can work there according to the plan," he added.
Commenting on whether Crimea can return to Ukraine's control politically and diplomatically or with military assistance, Zelensky said, "We do not choose which way we will put an end to this issue."