When Russian President Vladimir Putin crossed the Crimean Bridge in 2018 — a 12-mile span of metal and concrete connecting the Crimean Peninsula he illegally annexed from Ukraine to mainland Russia — it was framed as a patriotic victory. Through the reign of the Czars, “individuals dreamed of constructing this bridge,” Putin boasted as he took the wheel of an orange dump truck adorned with Russian flags main a convoy throughout the bridge.
Now, a bit of that bridge — considered one of Europe’s longest — has been broken in an explosion, with elements seen sinking in the water. It’s a symbolic blow for Russia because it grapples with a Ukrainian counteroffensive, strategic failures and dysfunctional military command.
Ukraine, whereas not taking credit score publicly for the blast, had overtly promised to assault the bridge as not too long ago as June, calling it a “primary” goal due to its strategic significance, report The Publish’s Maite Fernández Simon and Paul Sonne. The bridge is a vital artery for Moscow’s faltering battle effort — carrying troops and weapons from mainland Russia to Crimea.