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Massive explosions blow up and collapse Putin’s beloved Crimea Bridge in ‘kamikaze drone attack’ by Ukraine

AT LEAST two are dead after Vladimir Putin’s beloved £3billion Crimea Bridge was rocked by massive explosions.

Two blasts rang out on the 12-mile crossing in the early hours of Monday morning as hordes of motorists travelled across it.

Putin's beloved bridge linking Russia to Crime has been blown up

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Putin’s beloved bridge linking Russia to Crime has been blown up
The blasts on the 12-mile crossing caused part of the road to collapse

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The blasts on the 12-mile crossing caused part of the road to collapse
The fireball engulfed the thoroughfare in the early hours of Monday morning

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The fireball engulfed the thoroughfare in the early hours of Monday morning

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Traffic was brought to a standstill due to what was initially described as an “emergency” on the Russian side of the bridge.

Dramatic images show mangled and contorted metal barriers on the warped roadway, which is a major supply route for Putin’s troops fighting in Ukraine.

One shows how a section of the carriageway appears to have been obliterated by the blast, causing it to slump into the water below.

Although it remains unclear how great the structural damage is, sections of the bridge have been completely blown apart.

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Explosions rang out at both 03:04 and 03:20 local time, according to reports, shaking stunned drivers as they sat in their cars.

Chaos ensued near the Crimean end of the heavily guarded road and rail link as the concrete gave in.

According to eyewitnesses, people watched on in horror as a support pillar “collapsed” when the explosions erupted.

A couple were killed and their 14-year-old daughter has been seriously injured when their Hyundai was struck by one of the blasts.

The family, from the Belgorod region, were en route to the holiday peninsula when tragedy struck.

Their relatives travelling in another car horrifically saw their lifeless bodies on the roadside as they navigated the treacherous route.

The schoolgirl is said to be in a “serious condition” in hospital. 

Russia immediately pointed the finger at Ukraine, with the head of the Crimean parliament Vladimir Konstantinov blaming the attack on the “terrorist regime in Kyiv.”

Reports claim that Ukraine may have launched a kamikaze drone attack on Putin’s prized bridge to disrupt its military supply route.

Initial suspicions focused on marine drones, with local news saying that debris was found close to the bridge.

It has now been claimed that Ukraine’s Security Service and Naval Forces orchestrated the attack.

A source told the BBC that they led the “special operation” that has been branded terrorism by furious Russian officials.

They claimed the bridge had been targeted with surface drones, saying: “It was difficult to reach the bridge, but in the end it was possible.”

Russia’s anti-terrorist committee said the strikes were carried out using unmanned drones on the water’s surface.

TROUBLED WATERS

It confirmed they had already opened a criminal investigation while claiming Ukrainian “special services” were behind the ambush.

Russia has been vocally encouraging people to flock to the Black Sea peninsula for summer – despite it being in the war zone.

This was despite the Ukrainian Telegram channel Crimean Wind warning Russians to avoid travelling to Crimea, which was annexed by Putin in 2014.

They also threatened that ferries on the same route as the disputed peninsula are “legitimate targets”.

“The fact that you should not go to the Crimea at all, we warned even earlier,” said the post.

“Now all cars are turning around on both sides of the bridge. There are two options: either on the ferry or home.

“And the two “ferries”, we recall, are large [naval] landing ships, which are also legitimate targets for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”

It followed a warning from the Ukrainian Defence Ministry in early July, which reminded people of the risk of attacks in Crimea.

The message stated: “Big plans this summer? A travel advisory is in effect for certain beaches.

“We warned you last summer to stay away from Crimea.”

WAGNER REBELS

There were also fears from Russia that disgruntled Wagner fighters turning against Putin could attack the bridge, Telegram channel Ukrainian channel InformNapalm said.

The post read: “Who is the most terrible saboteur in Russia now?

“That’s right, Wagner PMC [Private Military Company] rebels. 

“It is possible that some attentive people passed information to the FSB that the Wagnerites are preparing to bring explosives and ammunition to Crimea, because the agreements on the part of the Kremlin have not been fully implemented.”

An emergency meeting of Russia’s security council is expected to take place today.

Putin was reported to have been woken by his aides in the early hours as the carnage continued to unfold on the bridge.

Ambulances were forced to snake through cars to reach the scene as injured people were trapped in their cars.

Queues of traffic immediately worsened during the night as the bridge became inoperable. 

Sergey Aksyonov, Moscow-appointed ruler of Crimea, said: “Given the current situation, I ask residents and guests of the peninsula to refrain from travelling over the Crimean Bridge and, for security reasons, to choose an alternative land route through new regions.”

The occupation official said: “Traffic has been stopped on the Crimea Bridge.

SECOND BRIDGE BLAST

“An emergency occurred in the area of the 145th support from the Krasnodar region. 

“Law enforcement agencies and all responsible services are working. 

“I spoke with the Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation Vitaly Savelyev.

“Measures are being taken to restore the situation. We keep in touch with colleagues from the Krasnodar region.”

The bridge had been previously attacked in a bomb explosion in October last year. 

The crossing links Krasnodar to Crimea over the Kerch Strait between the Black and Azov seas. 

There was no immediate comment from the Ukrainians.

The bridge, a major engineering feat, was Putin’s flagship project and the dictator opened the crossing in 2018. 

It comprises a separate roadway and railway, both supported by concrete stilts, while the middle section is a wider span held together by steel arches, allowing shipping to pass underneath. 

It was built by a company owned by Arkady Rotenberg, a close personal friend and former judo partner of Putin.

BRIDGE HAS ‘PARTIALLY SANK’

The bridge is key for Russian supplies and tourist traffic to the spectacular peninsula.

Traffic ground to a halt on both road and rail sections of the crossing on Monday following the explosions.

One train spent nearly two hours stuck on the Krasnodar side while panicked passengers were trapped on board, reports claim.

Ferries – including naval landing ships – have been deployed across the Kerch Strait.

This followed enhanced security checks in recent weeks amid fears of a new strike by Ukraine. 

Pictures and video showed extensive damage to the crossing, especially on the highway towards Kerch in Crimea. 

One of the sections of the bridge “partially sank”, said an onlooker. 

The scale of the damage is a deep blow to Vladimir Putin who asserted on Sunday that the Ukrainian counteroffensive had failed.

The damage is visible from Kerch.

“It’s very bad, in real life it looks very bad, there are hard dips,” said the source. 

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It was not immediately clear if the supporting pillars of the bridge suffered structural damage – but the roadway is badly mutilated.

Senior politician Sergei Mironov said Russia should not renew the Black Sea grain deal – which expires today – in retaliation.

Russia’s security council is expected to host an emergency meeting today

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Russia’s security council is expected to host an emergency meeting today
Shocking images how the extent of the damage to the bridge

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Shocking images how the extent of the damage to the bridge
Video shows a wounded woman in a black vehicle being aided by motorists

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Video shows a wounded woman in a black vehicle being aided by motorists


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