Day 227 Roundup: Huge Blast on Crimean Bridge to Russia; IMF Approves $1.3B Emergency Loan to Ukraine

Photo: [via Ukrainska Pravda]

The Facts

  • A huge blast rocked the Crimean Bridge on Saturday. Spanning over 10 miles and connecting the peninsula to Russia via a road and railroad bridge across the Kerch Strait, the project was finalized in 2018 after Russia annexed Crimea four years earlier.

  • Train service and car traffic reportedly partially resumed shortly after the blast, which Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee said was caused by a truck bomb that resulted in seven railway cars carrying fuel catching fire. This saw "two motorway sections of the bridge partially collapse." The committee didn't apportion blame for the attack.


The Spin

Anti-Russia narrative

The blast on the bridge, which Russian Pres. Putin personally inaugurated in 2018, is not only a humiliating blow to Moscow but also a significant logistical setback that follows a procession of recent Russian defeats. While, admittedly, there are other options for supplying to Crimea, the damage to the bridge — regardless of the cause — brings a victorious end to Russia's notion that the peninsula is beyond Ukraine's reach.

Pro-Russia narrative

With limited damage and railway and car traffic already restored, this latest incident is more symbolic than it is a logistical setback: Although the cause has yet to be established, the blast is alarmingly tinted with provocation from Ukrainian officials who have previously threatened to attack the bridge — a move that would open a pandora's box of destroying critical infrastructure. Russia has been swift to launch an investigation, and the blast will have little impact on Russia's control of Crimea.

Nerd narrative

There's a 50% chance that the Crimean Bridge will be knocked out to the point of being impassible to either all automobile traffic or all railway traffic for seven days before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


Establishment split

CRITICAL

PRO

More neutral establishment stance articles

Sign up to our daily newsletter