Vasily Malyuk, the head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), confirmed that the SBU was involved in the attack on the Crimean Bridge that took place on October 8, 2022.
The question about the actual perpetrators of the terrorist attack remained open at the official level. Russia initially accused Kyiv of the attack, but there was no official response. A week after the second attack on the Crimean Bridge, which Kyiv claimed responsibility for almost immediately, Ukraine officially confirmed that it was the SBU that conducted the terrorist act.
Pravda.Ru reflects on the context in which Malyuk's announcement was made.
"There are many different operations, special operations. We will be able to talk about some of them after the victory, and we won't talk about others at all. A colleague of mine put on an appropriate T-shirt today — this is one of our accomplishments, namely the destruction of the Crimean Bridge on October 8 last year,” said Malyuk.
On October 8, 2022, an explosion occurred on the automobile part of the Crimean bridge from the side of the Taman Peninsula. According to the official report from the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, the explosion took place at 06:03 local time.
The explosive device had been planted in a truck. Three sections of the automobile part of the bridge collapsed. Seven fuel tank cars caught fire on the railway part of the bridge. More than 250 meters of the motorway part of the bridge were damaged.
Five people were killed: the driver of the truck, as well as the driver and three passengers of a car that was driving nearby.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called the incident a terrorist attack with Ukrainian special services being behind it. After the explosion on the Crimean Bridge, Kyiv put itself on a par with most notorious terrorist groups.
None of the parties claimed responsibility for the act of sabotage. Ukraine officially refused to comment on the bridge explosion. On October 9, 2022, Artyom Dekhtyarenko, the press secretary of the Security Service of Ukraine, said that the department was not eligible for comment on reports about its alleged involvement in the explosion on the Crimean bridge.
"We will comment on the role of the SBU or any other state body of Ukraine after our final victory," he said.
On October 12, 2022, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) announced the arrest of five Russian citizens and three citizens of Ukraine and Armenia as part of the Crimea Bridge case. The FSB said that the explosion was organised by Ukrainian military official Kirill Budanov. The explosive device, the FSB said, was transported from Ukraine through Bulgaria, Georgia and Armenia.
Two days later, on October 14, 2022, five defendants in the sabotage case were jailed in the pre-trial detention centre. According to investigators, at least 15 people could be involved in the explosion. On October 15, 2022, a court sent three Russians to a pre-trial detention centre in connection with the terrorist attack.
Meanwhile, Ukraine continued to remain silent about the Crimean Bridge attack. The West released standard statements about the need to investigate, and Russia insisted on the involvement of Ukrainian special services in the attack.
Nevertheless, Ukrainian officials did not intend to hide their attitude to the attack. The day after the explosion, Ukrposhta (Ukraine's Post) announced the release of a postage stamp depicting the burning Crimean Bridge.
"The morning has never been so good. In connection with the holiday, we are issuing a new stamp with the Crimean Bridge, or, more precisely, with what remains of it,” Igor Smilyansky, the head of Ukrposhta, then said.
On July 17, 2023, Ukraine carried out a second terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge using surface drones (unmanned boats). Two adult people were killed and their daughter was injured in the blast.
Traffic on the bridge, both railway and automobile, was interrupted. The transport infrastructure was restored within a day.
Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin evaluated the damage at 1-1.3 billion rubles.
Commenting on this attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced retaliatory measures. According to the president, the attack made no sense from a military point of view as the Russian Armed Forces were not using the Crimean Bridge for military logistics for a long time.
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