Powerful explosion at Kerch Bridge connecting occupied Crimea to Russia

Powerful explosion at Kerch Bridge connecting occupied Crimea to Russia

Powerful explosion at Kerch Bridge connecting occupied Crimea to Russia

After Vladimir Putin seized Ukraine’s Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions in a fancy ceremony at the Kremlin, Russia’s forces have been fleeing the area for almost two weeks. They are outnumbered and outgunned. Early Saturday morning, an explosion destroyed the important bridge that connected the Russian-controlled Crimea peninsula to the rest of Russia. Now, they have to fight a much bigger battle to get supplies to their front lines.

The alleged strike caused two road spans on the Kerch Bridge to fall into the water and set a nearby train carrying fuel tanks on fire. This stopped all traffic on the route that the Russian military used to bring supplies and equipment into the conflict zone in southern Ukraine. In 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin drove a Kamaz truck over the 12-mile infrastructure link as a sign of goodwill. The link cost $3 billion to build. The burning bridge, which was built to solidify Russia’s annexation of the peninsula in 2014, has come to represent Russia’s struggle to stop Ukraine from making progress in the southeast.

Michael Kofman, a military analyst and director of the Russia Studies Program at CNA, a US defence think tank, says that if the rail link is destroyed, Russia won’t be able to move soldiers and supplies through Crimea as easily unless they can fix it. There is only one other way to get supplies, and it goes through land that was just bought in the southeast of Ukraine. But it’s hard to get across the “land bridge” that Russia built by taking over four provinces. Most single-track rail lines have to cross bridges over irrigation canals and rivers that flow to Crimea, as well as the Azov and Black Seas.

Already, Ukrainian missile attacks on railroad infrastructure had made it very hard for Russian troops to resupply themselves by land across the southern front. During the invasion, Russia lost a large number of trucks as well.They won’t be able to make it up in any other way. Phillips O’Brien, a professor of strategic studies at the University of St. Andrews, says that they need to do everything possible to get that railroad line back up and running. O’Brien says that the disruption could give Ukraine a chance to step up its counterattack and retake the territories that Russia has taken over. He said the Russians are “in real, serious trouble.” The Russian army is all over the place. The morale is very low. 

Many people in Kyiv thought for years that Ukraine’s plans to retake the peninsula were impossible. As its troops move forward on the ground, these hopes seem less and less far-fetched. The bridge attack is the latest in a series of daring attacks on military facilities in the peninsula and elsewhere behind enemy lines, for which Ukraine has not claimed responsibility. These have slowly broken down the illusion of normalcy that followed Putin’s 2014 annexation and the first six months of Moscow’s “special military operation,” a name that sounds more like a battle in Syria than the terrifying reality of war on Russians’ doorsteps.


Sophia Amelia is the New York Times Bestselling Author. Writing stories to inspire young minds. Celebrating the power of words & imagination through my books. Join me on my journey to creating stories that will capture your imagination and captivate your heart.

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