Ukraine mocks Russia over Crimea bridge blast

AFP , Saturday 8 Oct 2022

Ukrainian officials mocked Russia on Saturday, without directly claiming responsibility after a vehicle bomb damaged a key bridge built as Moscow's sole land link with annexed Crimea.

Crimea Bridge
Black smoke billows from a fire on the Kerch bridge that links Crimea to Russia, after a truck exploded, near Kerch, on October 8, 2022. AFP


The Kerch bridge, personally inaugurated by President Vladimir Putin in 2018, is a vital transport link for carrying military equipment to Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine.

Moscow said a vehicle had exploded and ignited a huge fire, setting ablaze seven oil tankers transported by train and collapsing two car lanes of the giant road and rail structure.

Dramatic social media footage showed the bridge on fire with parts plunging into the sea.

Officials in Moscow vowed to find the culprits, but stopped short of immediately blaming Kyiv -- though an official in Russian-installed Crimea pointed the finger at "Ukrainian vandals".

No Ukrainian official has claimed direct responsibility for the blast, which came after Putin celebrated his 70th birthday on Friday.

But some cracked jokes at Moscow's expense.

The Ukrainian post office announced it was preparing to print stamps showing the "Crimean bridge -- or more precisely, what remains of it".

Boss Igor Smelyansky posted a design for the new stamps on Facebook -- one depicting an explosion on the structure.

Ukraine's defence ministry compared the attack to the one that sank the Russian cruiser Moskva in the Black Sea in April -- an event the post office has already celebrated by printing special stamps.

"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?

Meanwhile, the security services (SBU) repurposed verses by Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko about "the sun rising on the burning bridge".

"Today is a perfect opportunity to revise some of Taras Shevchenko's poems," the SBU said on Telegram.

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