Russian president orders more security for devastated Crimean bridge

The blaze came hours after explosions rocked the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, sending towering plumes of smoke into the sky and triggering a series of secondary explosions, as the fighting enters its 227th day.

According to Moscow, a truck exploded, starting a massive fire and damaging the key Kerch Bridge, which was built after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. (AFP PHOTO / RUSSIAN INVESTIGATIVE COMMITTEE)

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Putin orders more security for Crimean bridge and energy supply

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered increased security at the bridge connecting Russia with Crimea as well as infrastructure supplying electricity and natural gas to the peninsula, Interfax said.

In a decree issued hours after the bridge was damaged by an explosion, Putin said the FSB security service would be tasked with stepping up protective measures.

Limited road traffic resumes on intact Crimean Bridge lanes

The Russian Transport Ministry said limited road traffic for cars and buses had resumed on the intact lanes of the Crimean Bridge, which was hit by an early morning explosion.

He said traffic would for now be limited to crossing between Crimea and Russia’s Taman Peninsula in alternate directions.

Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian-appointed governor of the Crimean peninsula, which Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014, said on social media that heavy goods vehicles would have to wait to cross by ferry.

Trains can also resume using a road and rail bridge between Russia and Crimea, the Russian Transport Ministry said in a statement.

Ukrainian presidency says Russia intervened in Crimea bridge explosion

A Ukrainian presidential adviser has hinted that Moscow was involved in the explosion of the bridge that connects the occupied Crimean peninsula to the Russian mainland.

“It should be noted that the truck that exploded, by all indications, entered the bridge from the Russian side. Answers must therefore be sought in Russia,” Kyiv presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said in comments. published by the presidency.

Russia appoints air force general to lead forces in Ukraine

The Russian Defense Ministry has appointed Air Force General Sergey Surovikin as the overall commander of Russian forces fighting in Ukraine, the third high-ranking military appointment in Moscow in the space of a week.

The change follows the reported sacking of commanders of two of Russia’s five military regions earlier this week, as its forces suffered a series of dramatic setbacks in northeastern and southern Ukraine in recent weeks. The ministry did not specify who, if any, Surovikin was replacing.

British military intelligence said in April that General Alexander Dvornikov had been appointed to take charge of Russian forces in Ukraine, nearly two months after Moscow began what it calls its “special military operation”, in an attempt to “centralize command and control”.

NATO must do more to protect members from Russia: Germany

NATO must do more for common security to protect against potential Russian actions, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has said.

“The fact is that we, NATO, have to do more for our common security because we cannot know how far Putin’s delusions of grandeur can go,” Lambrecht said during a visit to German troops deployed in Lithuania.

“We heard the threats from Russia against Lithuania, which applied European sanctions on the border with Kaliningrad. These are not the first threats and we must take them seriously and be prepared,” she said.

Russian troops in Ukraine can obtain all necessary supplies by land and sea

The Russian Defense Ministry said Russian troops fighting in the Mykolaiv, Kryvyi Rih and Zaporizhzhia regions of southern Ukraine could receive all the supplies they needed through existing land and sea corridors, after that the bridge connecting Russia to Crimea was badly damaged by an explosion.

Saturday’s blast at the road and rail bridge, which was used to transport Russian military men and supplies across the peninsula to other parts of southern Ukraine, destroyed sections of road carrying traffic in one direction and also damaged railway tracks.

Crimean bridge blast kills three

Russian investigators said three people were killed after a truck exploded on its bridge linking annexed Crimea with Moscow to the mainland, adding that the owner of the vehicle had been identified.

“According to preliminary information, three people were killed,” the Russian investigative commission said in a statement. He said they were probably “passengers in a car that was near the truck that exploded”.

Investigators also established the coordinates of the truck and its owner, registered in the Krasnodar region in southern Russia, and began searching his whereabouts, he added.

Earlier, the Russian Investigative Committee said it had “launched a criminal case in connection with the incident”.

Massive fire breaks out on key bridge linking Crimea to Russia

Russia’s national counterterrorism committee said on Saturday the fire was caused by a car bomb, while earlier reports from Russian state-backed media said a tanker had caught fire.

“Today at 6:07 a.m. (03:07 GMT) on the road traffic side of the Crimean Bridge … a car bomb exploded, setting fire to seven oil tankers being transported by rail to Crimea,” the committee said.

Earlier, RIA-Novosti and the Tass news agency quoted a local Russian official, Oleg Kryuchkov, as saying that an object believed to be a fuel storage tank caught fire and traffic was halted on the bridge.

The rail and road bridge over the Kerch Strait was built after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Moscow uses the bridge to move weapons and other military equipment to areas of Ukraine where fighting rage.

IAEA: the bombing of Zaporizhzhia is “irresponsible”

The nighttime bombings that cut the power line supplying cooling systems at Russia’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine were “extremely irresponsible”, the UN’s atomic watchdog said, again calling for a protection zone.

“The resumption of bombardments, hitting the plant’s only external power source, is extremely irresponsible,” said the International Atomic Energy Agency quoting its chief Rafael Grossi, confirming that the plant now relies on diesel generators.

Grossi will “soon” travel to Russia and Ukraine to discuss setting up a protection zone at the plant, he added.

Death toll from missile attack on Ukrainian town rises

At least 14 people died when seven Russian missiles hit the industrial city of Zaporizhzhia in southern Ukraine, the secretary of the city council has announced.

The missiles struck before dawn on Thursday, with three landings in the city center, just 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the southern front artillery battles.

“Sad news continues to come to us from the analysis of the buildings hit in the attack,” Anatoly Kurtev said via Telegram.

“So far, the death toll has risen to 14.”

Crimean bridge fire just ‘the beginning’, Ukrainian official says

A Ukrainian presidential adviser posted a message on Twitter after conflicting reports of an explosion or fire that damaged the bridge connecting the Russian mainland with Ukraine’s occupied Crimean Peninsula, calling it “the beginning” but not directly claiming responsibility for Ukraine.

“Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be expelled,” wrote Mykhailo Podolyak.

US ammunition supplies dwindle as war in Ukraine drains stockpiles

The United States will soon be unable to supply Ukraine with certain types of ammunition critical to the battle for kyiv against Russia, as supplies are depleted faster than they can be replaced.

U.S. stocks of some equipment “reach minimum levels necessary for war planning and training,” and replenishment to pre-invasion levels could take years, wrote Mark Cancian of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. in a recent analysis.

Washington “learns the lessons” of the conflict on the need for ammunition in a war between great powers, which are “much greater” than expected, acknowledged a US military official on condition of anonymity.

Ukraine says mass grave discovered in newly liberated town of Lyman

Ukrainian authorities have discovered a mass grave in the recently liberated eastern town of Lyman and it is unclear how many bodies it holds, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said in an online post.

Separately, the Ukrinform The news agency quoted a senior police official as saying the grave contained 180 bodies.

Ukrainian troops freed Lyman from Russian control on Saturday.

Multiple explosions rock the city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine

A series of explosions rocked the city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine, sending towering plumes of illuminating smoke into the sky and triggering a series of secondary explosions.

The blasts came as Russia focused attacks in its increasingly troubled invasion of Ukraine on areas it had illegally annexed, while the death toll from earlier missile strikes on buildings in dwelling in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia increased to 14.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said on Telegram that the morning explosions were the result of missile strikes that hit one of the city’s medical institutions, a non-residential building and other places.

For live updates from Friday, October 7, click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

Amanda J. Marsh