Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday termed the explosion on the Crimean bridge as a “terrorist attack” that was aimed at destroying the country`s critical civilian infrastructure.
Putin blamed Ukrainian special services for the attack on the key bridge that connects Crimea with mainland Russia, TASS news agency reported.
“This is just as you’ve said, there is no doubt [about it]. This is a terrorist act aimed at destroying the critical civilian infrastructure of the Russian Federation. It was ordered, authored, and carried out by the special services of Ukraine,” Putin said at a meeting with the head of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Alexander Bastrykin.
The head of the Investigative Committee said that citizens of Russia and foreign countries helped the Ukrainian special services in preparation for the attack.
On Saturday, a truck exploded on the road bridge, causing seven fuel tanks of a train heading to the Crimean Peninsula to catch fire. Three people were killed in the blast, which also led to the partial collapse of two spans of the road bridge, according to media reports.
Shortly after, the Kremlin said Putin signed a decree on enhancing security measures for the Crimea bridge. In the decree, Putin also called for securing the energy bridge and the gas pipeline connecting the peninsula with mainland Russia.
“The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation shall be vested with the authority to organize and coordinate protection measures for the Kerch Strait transport crossing, the power grid`s energy bridge between the Russian Federation and the Crimean Peninsula, along with the main gas pipeline between the Krasnodar Region and Crimea, during their operation,” TASS quoted the document.
This is done to enhance the efficiency of protection measures for the transport crossing, the energy bridge, and the gas pipeline across the Kerch Strait, the report added.
After a massive explosion on a key strategic bridge linking Crimea and Russia, media reports said that Putin plans to hold an operational meeting of his Security Council on Monday.
The bridge was opened in 2018 by Putin, four years after Moscow annexed Crimea, and was designed to link the peninsula to Russia`s transport network.
The 19-kilometer bridge, which runs across the Kerch Strait and connects Crimea with mainland Russia, consists of a railway and vehicle sections. It became fully operational in 2020.