Zelensky Makes Sly Dig After Stunning Bridge Bomb

However, no one has claimed responsibility for attack on vital Russian span to Crimea
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2022 8:00 AM CDT
Zelensky Makes Sly Dig After Stunning Bridge Bomb
This infrared satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows damage to the Kerch Bridge, which connects the Crimean Peninsula with Russia between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.   (Maxar Technologies via AP)

A day after a truck bomb severely damaged Russia's sole bridge to the Crimean Peninsula, authorities in Ukraine made clear they welcomed the development. However, Ukraine has stopped short of claiming responsibility for the attack on the Kerch Bridge, reports the BBC. President Volodymyr Zelensky took note of the attack indirectly. "Today was not a bad day and mostly sunny on our state's territory," he said in his Saturday video address. "Unfortunately, it was cloudy in Crimea. Although it was also warm." The bridge has partially reopened, though it could be a while before the full extent of the damage is determined.

The 12-mile bridge is the longest in Europe, notes the AP, and it carries vehicles and train cars over a strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. If the rail line in particular is down for a while, that could severely affect Russia's ability to move heavy equipment and other supplies to troops in Ukraine. Beyond that, the symbolism of the attack is striking, notes the New York Times, given that Vladimir Putin himself dedicated the bridge at its 2018 opening. "The explosion is emblematic of a Russian military in disarray," per the story. "Russian forces were unable to protect the road and rail crossing despite its centrality to the war effort, its personal importance to Mr. Putin and its potent symbolism as the literal connection between Russia and Crimea."

The Washington Post has a similar take, calling the attack a "symbolic disaster" for Russia amid a war in which "symbols matter to the morale of a restive Russian population, on the one hand, and to Ukraine’s Western supporters, for whom highly visible gains for Ukraine are important not only to keep the arms flowing but to persuade citizens that their sacrifices, like high energy prices, are bearing fruit." Russian officials say repair work will be conducted around the clock. Meanwhile, Ukraine is bracing for revenge attacks. On Sunday, Ukrainian authorities say a Russian missile strike in the city of Zaporizhzhia killed at least 12 civilians, reports CNN. (Read more Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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