Putin accuses Ukraine of “terrorist attack” on Kerch bridge

Russian President Vladimir Putin has blamed the Ukrainian secret services for the “terrorist attack” on the Kerch Bridge last Saturday that left it partially disabled.

“There is no doubt that it is a terrorist attack that sought to destroy a civilian infrastructure of vital importance for the Russian Federation,” Putin said during a working meeting with the head of the Russian Investigative Committee (FSB), Alexander Bastrikin, reported by the Russian news agency Interfax.

“Those responsible and the material perpetrators are the Ukrainian secret services,” the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), he has reiterated.

Bastrikin added that there are “citizens of Russia and foreign countries who have helped to prepare this terrorist attack” and explained that they have traced the route of the truck that exploded on the bridge from Bulgaria and through Georgia, Armenia, North Ossetia and the territory of Krasnodar. “Instructions have been given to the FSB and the Russian Interior Ministry to conduct operational searches,” he said.

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Ukraine’s response has come through Ukrainian presidential aide Mihailo Podoliak. “Putin accuses Ukraine of terrorism? It is too cynical even for Russia. Less than 24 hours ago Russian planes attacked a residential area of Zaporiyia with twelve missiles and killed thirteen people and wounded more than 50. There is only one terrorist state here and the whole world knows what it is,” Podoliak posted on Twitter.

At least three people were killed in a truck explosion on the Kerch Bridge, which connects Russian territory with the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula. The explosive detonated in the path of a fuel transport train.

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At least two sections of one of the bridge’s two carriageways collapsed in the explosion. The parallel railroad track was damaged, but is operational.

Separately, the FSB has accused Ukraine of attacking Russian territory more than a hundred times so far this month. These include attacks on 32 localities in the Bryansk, Kursk and Belgorod regions, bordering Ukraine, which were allegedly shelled.

The FSB thus denounces a “significant increase” in Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory, an extreme impossible to verify independently. At least one person has been killed and five more injured in these attacks.

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