The Kerch Bridge, which connects Crimea and Russia, on October 14, 2022.
Stringer | AFP | Getty Images
Following a drone strike on an ammunition depot in Crimea, authorities must evacuate everyone within a five-kilometer radius and suspend road traffic on a bridge linking Crimea to Russia, the Russian-installed regional governor announced on Saturday.
Sergei Aksyonov said an explosion at a warehouse in Krasnovvardyske, central Crimea, had caused no damage or casualties. Footage shared by state media showed thick gray smoke rising from the scene.
Aksyonov blamed a Ukrainian drone attack. Kiev was not immediately available for comment.
Russia occupied and annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, eight years before launching a full-scale invasion of Crimea.
The temporary suspension of traffic on the Crimean Bridge, about 180 kilometers (110 miles) east of the drone incident, came five days after an explosion there killed two people and damaged part of the road. It was the second major attack on the bridge since the start of the war.
The 19-kilometer road and rail bridge is an important logistical link for the Russian military and is frequented by Russian tourists who flock to Crimea in the summer.
Russia accuses Ukraine of carrying out the attack on the bridge. Kiev authorities welcome them without directly claiming responsibility.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that the bridge is a legitimate target as it is a military supply route to Russia.
“This is a route used to resupply war ammunition, and this is routine,” he said.
Russia is on high alert for accidents on bridges, with the official Telegram channel urging citizens not to panic if the warning is issued.
Further demonstrating security concerns in Crimea, Aksyonov’s adviser Oleg Kryuchkov warned people not to post images of critical infrastructure online.
He urged those who knew the authors of such posts to report them to the Interior Ministry or the FSB Security Service.
“Remember that videos posted on the web of military and other critical facilities are made for the enemy,” he said.