Russia arrests 8 for Crimea Bridge blast as Ukraine celebrates

Ukraine has not officially confirmed its involvement in the blast that destroyed a section of the bridge to Russian annexed Crimea , but some Ukrainian officials have celebrated the damage.

 A view shows a fire on the Kerch bridge at sunrise in the Kerch Strait, Crimea, October 8, 2022.  (photo credit: REUTERS/STRINGER)
A view shows a fire on the Kerch bridge at sunrise in the Kerch Strait, Crimea, October 8, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/STRINGER)

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Wednesday that it had detained five Russians and three citizens of Ukraine and Armenia in connection with the bombing of a vital bridge to Crimea, an attack it said was masterminded by Ukraine.

"The organizer of the terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge was the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, its head Kyrylo Budanov, its employees and agents."

Russias Federal Security Service

The FSB said the attack was organized by Ukrainian military intelligence and its director, Kyrylo Budanov - echoing accusations by President Vladimir Putin over what he has called a "terrorist attack" against critical civilian infrastructure.

"The organizer of the terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge was the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, its head Kyrylo Budanov, its employees and agents," said the FSB, the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB.

Ukraine has not officially confirmed its involvement in the blast, but some Ukrainian officials have celebrated the damage.

 Women pose with the Ukrainian national flag next to an artwork depicting Kerch bridge on fire, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in central Kyiv, Ukraine October 8, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/VLADYSLAV MUSIIENKO) Women pose with the Ukrainian national flag next to an artwork depicting Kerch bridge on fire, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in central Kyiv, Ukraine October 8, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/VLADYSLAV MUSIIENKO)

The explosion on the twelve-mile-long bridge destroyed one section of the road bridge, temporarily halting road traffic. It also destroyed several fuel tankers on a train heading towards the annexed peninsula from neighboring southern Russia.

The FSB said the explosive device was camouflaged in rolls of construction polyethylene film on 22 pallets with a total weight of 22.7 tons and moved from Ukraine to Russia via Bulgaria, Georgia and Armenia.

The bridge, a prestige project personally opened by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018, had become logistically vital to his military campaign, with supplies to Russian troops fighting in south Ukraine channeled through it.

Russian forces launched mass missile strikes against Ukrainian cities, including power supplies. At a televised meeting of Russia's Security Council on Monday, Putin said the strikes were a retaliation for the Crimea bridge blast, which he said had been organized by Ukraine's secret services.

"Control over the movement of the cargo along the entire route and contacts with participants in the criminal transportation scheme were carried out by an employee of HUR MO," the FSB said in a statement, using the acronym for Ukrainian military intelligence.

Ukraine says Russia's investigation into Crimea bridge blast is 'nonsense'

A senior Ukrainian official dismissed as "nonsense" on Wednesday Russia's investigation into an explosion last weekend that badly damaged a bridge linking the Russian mainland to the Crimea peninsula that Moscow has annexed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has blamed Ukraine's security forces for the explosion and earlier on Wednesday Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said it had detained five Russians and three citizens of Ukraine and Armenia over the blast.

"The whole activity of the FSB and Investigative Committee is nonsense," Ukraine's public broadcaster Suspilne cited interior minister spokesman Andriy Yusov as saying when asked about Moscow's allegations on the Crimea Bridge blast.

Yusov described the FSB and Investigative Committee as "fake structures that serve the Putin regime, so we will definitely not comment on their next statements."