Explosion Blows Link Between Russia And Crimea And Ukraine Celebrate

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Explosion Blows Link Between Russia And Crimea And Ukraine Celebrate

It is a picture that shows the stunning devastation caused to the only rail and road link between Russia and Crimea, after a huge blast left a fuel train in flames and caused the collapse of spans of the roadway below.

The massive fireball exploded on the 12-mile Kerch Bridge shortly after 6am yesterday, striking a hugely-symbolic blow against Vladimir Putin while prompting jubilation in Ukraine.

The Russian president ordered the bridge to be built in 2014 after his illegal annexation of Crimea – the first step in his assault on Ukrainian terrain. He declared it was a ‘miracle’ after driving a truck across to open the structure four years ago.

Now the bold attack demonstrates his inability to protect any part of the land he grabbed from Ukraine – and raises the stakes in this war as fears grow that the beleaguered Kremlin might respond to setbacks with a nuclear attack.

Russian media had boasted that the heavily defended bridge was impregnable. The rail line is a critical supply route for their military operations in Kherson region – although Moscow claimed last night that limited road and rail traffic would resume.

Yet the strike was another crushing humiliation for Putin. He demanded the building of the £2.7billion bridge, the longest in Europe, and saw it as his pet project.

Several Ukrainian media quoted sources claiming the attack on the loathed symbol of Russia’s occupation of their land was carried out by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). Russia blamed a lorry bomb and the footage showed a freight truck on the bridge before the blast.

A spokesman for the SBU declined to comment. But the organization tweeted four lines paraphrasing a poem by Taras Shevchenko, the nation’s most famous writer:

‘It’s dawn/ The bridge burns beautifully/ Nightingale in the Crimea/ Greet SBU.’

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