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Traffic on Russia’s Crimea bridge stopped amid reports of blasts | Russia-Ukraine war News

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DEVELOPING STORY,

Officials report ’emergency’ on bridge linking Crimea to Russian mainland and urge residents not to travel via the overpass.

Traffic along a Russian-built bridge linking the annexed Crimean Peninsula to Russia’s Krasnodar region has been halted due to “an emergency” situation, according to Moscow-installed officials.

The announcement on Monday came as Ukrainian media reported blasts on the bridge.

Sergei Aksyonov, a Moscow-installed governor, said the emergency occurred on the 145th pillar of the bridge that links Crimea to the Russian region of Krasnodar.

“Traffic has been stopped on the Crimean bridge,” he wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

“Law enforcement agencies and all relevant services are working…  measures are being taken to handle the situation,” he said.

Aksyonov did not provide any further details.

The Russian TASS news agency said train traffic on the bridge may also be changed because of the “emergency situation” there.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, but the peninsula is internationally recognised as part of Ukrainian territory. The bridge linking Crimea to Krasnodar serves as a vital link for transporting supplies to Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine.

The RBC-Ukraine news agency reported that explosions were heard on the bridge.

Russia’s Grey Zone, a heavily-followed Telegram channel affiliated with the Wagner mercenary group, reported that there were two attacks on the bridge at 03.04am (00:04 GMT) and 03.20am (00:20 GMT).

Al Jazeera was not able to independently verify the reports.

There was no immediate comment from Ukraine.

The 12-mile (19-km) road and rail bridge was damaged by an explosion last October in an attack the Kremlin said had been orchestrated by Ukrainian security forces.

Ukraine admitted only indirectly to the attack months later.

Both Aksyonov and the governor of the Krasnodar region, Veniamin Kondratyev, said they set up operational headquarters in their regions to address the emergency situation on the bridge.

The Russian-backed administration of the peninsula said Crimea is provided with all necessary stock but urged residents not to travel via the bridge.

Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s Odesa military administration, posted a photo on his Telegram channel of what seemed to be a line of the bridge in the distance, broken in the middle.

It was not immediately clear whether that was related to the attack.

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