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HomeWorld NewsDrone attack in Crimea prompts evacuation, brief bridge closure

Drone attack in Crimea prompts evacuation, brief bridge closure

The Kerch Bridge connecting Crimea and Russia, photographed on October 14, 2022.

Stringer | AFP | Getty Images

The Moscow-appointed governor of the Crimea region said on Saturday that a drone struck an ammunition depot in Crimea, prompting authorities to evacuate everyone within a 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) radius and temporarily disrupting road traffic on a bridge connecting the Crimean peninsula to Russia.

Sergey Aksyonov said there was an explosion at a warehouse in Krasnokhvaldisk in central Crimea, but no damage or casualties were reported. Video shared by state media showed thick gray smoke billowing from the scene.

Aksyonov blamed it on the Ukrainian drone attack. There was no immediate comment from Kiev.

Learn more about Russia’s war on Ukraine:

Russia seized and annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and began its full-scale invasion of the country eight years ago.

Traffic was briefly disrupted on the Crimea Bridge, about 180 kilometers (110 miles) east of the drone incident, five days after an explosion on the bridge killed two people and damaged a section of road, the second major attack on the bridge since the war began.

The 19-kilometre (12-mile) road and rail bridge is an important logistical passage for the Russian military and is heavily used by Russian tourists who flock to Crimea during the summer.

Russia blamed Ukraine for the attack on the bridge. Kiev officials welcomed them but did not directly claim responsibility.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that the bridge was a legitimate target because it is a Russian military supply route.

“This is the line that feeds ammunition for war, and it’s done every day,” he said.

Russia is on high alert for incidents on the bridge, with the official Telegram channel telling people not to panic in the event of an alert.

In a further sign of security problems in Crimea, Aksyonov’s adviser, Oleg Kryuchkov, warned against posting pictures of critical infrastructure on the internet.

He urged anyone who knew the author of such posts to report it to the Interior Ministry or the security services of Russia’s FSB.

“Remember, videos posted on networks of military or other critical installations are working for the enemy,” he said.

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