Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday accused Ukraine of committing a “terrorist act” as a result of an explosion a day earlier that damaged a strategic bridge connecting Crimea with Russia.
“Without a doubt, this was a terrorist act aimed at destroying the critically important civilian infrastructure of the Russian Federation,” Putin said during a meeting with the head of Russia’s Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin. media reports.
“Ukrainian special services came up with it, executed it and ordered it,” Putin said said.
Ukraine did not take responsibility for the explosion that damaged the Kerch bridge and became a humiliating blow to Putin’s prestige. But Ukrainian officials noted the explosion on social media, and it became a major morale booster for Ukraine’s military effort.
Putin met with Bastrykin will discuss the results of the investigation into the massive explosion and fire on the 19-kilometer Crimean bridge, which the President of Russia personally was opened to great fanfare in 2018 after Moscow seized the peninsula from Ukraine in 2014. Russian divers began examining the bridge to determine the cause of the explosion earlier on Sunday.
A criminal investigation Bastrykin said that they attacked the bridge.
After the explosion on Saturday, Putin increased the protection of the bridge and energy infrastructure between Russia and Crimea. He called a meeting of the National Security Council for Monday, said the press secretary of the Kremlin Dmitriy Piaskov told Russian state news agency TASS on Sunday.
Advisor to the President of Ukraine, Mikhail Podoliak, called Putin’s accusation “too cynical even for Russia.” tweet.
“Putin accuses Ukraine of terrorism?” he said. “Not even 24 hours have passed since Russian planes fired 12 missiles at a residential quarter of Zaporozhye, as a result of which 13 people died and more than 50 were injured. No, there is only one state terrorist, and the whole world knows who he is.” – said Podolyak.
The damage to the Kerch Bridge, a key symbol of Putin’s claims to the Crimean peninsula, has jeopardized a vital Russian military supply route to support its forces in southern Ukraine. It happened at a time when the Ukrainian attackers continue to recapture the occupied territories from the Moscow troops.