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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Putin Accuses Ukraine of ‘Terrorism’ over Crimea Bridge Blast

The blast killed three people, according to officials

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UKRAINE: Russian president Vladimir Putin has accused Ukraine of attacking the blast-hit Crimea Bridge, which offers passage to Russia-annexed Crimea, saying that it was an “act of terrorism”.

President Putin said Ukraine’s intelligence forces had deliberately attacked the bridge to sever or at least disrupt crucial supply lines for Russia, an important piece of Russia’s civil infrastructure.

He was speaking at a meeting with the head of the Investigative Committee of Russia, Alexander Bastrykin. Officials say three people were killed in the blast.

The victims were in a nearby car when a lorry truck blew up close to them, Russian officials say.

“There is no doubt that this is an act of terrorism aimed at destroying Russia’s critical civilian infrastructure,” Putin said. “Its authors, perpetrators, and beneficiaries are the security services of Ukraine.”

Bastrykin said that citizens of Russia and some foreign states had helped in preparations for the attack.

Bastrykin also said that investigators had established the travel route of the truck that blew up; it went through Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, North Ossetia, and the Krasnador Territory.

He has ordered a full-scale probe into the incident, which has severely dismantled several central sections of the roadway and caused a disruption in traffic due to cranked-up security in the region. Ukraine had not acknowledged or assumed any responsibility for the attack.

But an adviser to Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky, Mykhailo Podolyak, denied Putin’s claims and remarked that Russia is the “only terrorist state here” and that the “whole world knows who it is.” Does Putin accuse Ukraine of terrorism? “It looks too cynical even for Russia,” he said.

In his routine late-night address on Saturday, Zelensky subtly mentioned Crimea in his speech, without explicitly mentioning any details of the recent blast. He said, “Today was not a bad day and mostly sunny on our state’s territory.” Unfortunately, it was cloudy in Crimea. although it was also warm, “he added.

In other news, heavy shelling continued in the industrial hub of Zaporizhzhia City, where Russian missiles pounded residential buildings overnight, causing one section of a multi-story building to collapse.

One was killed and five others were injured. Among the wounded is a child with cuts from broken shards of glass. Search and rescue work continues.

Meanwhile, the head of the Ukrainian president’s office, Andrii Yermak, commented on the recent developments, including the deliberate attacks on civilians in Ukraine, and said, “What else needs to happen for Russia to be recognised as a state sponsor of terrorism? These cowards fight only against civilians. Weaklings who only know how to drink and launch rockets into residential buildings. “Shameful cowards.”

The enemy also launched a missile attack on Kyiv early on Monday, causing damage to property and setting off fires in the streets. There are also reports of explosions in Dnipro.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has taken a new turn as Ukraine has continued with its successful anti-annexation agenda in parts of Ukraine’s south in the Kherson region, reclaiming territory from Russian forces.

Meanwhile, Putin’s “special military operation” does not seem to be going according to plan, as the mandatory military call-up has only compelled people to flee, and the West’s overwhelming support for Kyiv, now doubled with the Crimea Bridge blast, has gradually begun to debilitate Putin’s men.

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Also Read: Divers to Assess Damage to Blast-hit Crimea Bridge Crucial to Russia’s Supply Lines

 

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