The New York Times reported Saturday evening that a “senior Ukrainian official” corroborated Russian reports that Ukraine was behind the truck bomb attack on the Crimean bridge which killed at least three civilians.
The blast and fire sent part of the 12-mile Kerch Strait Bridge tumbling into the sea and killed at least three people, according to the Russian authorities. A senior Ukrainian official corroborated Russian reports that Ukraine was behind the attack. The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of a government ban on discussing the blast, added that Ukraine’s intelligence services had orchestrated the explosion, using a bomb loaded onto a truck being driven across the bridge.
[…] It was unclear if the driver of the truck, who died in the blast, was aware there were explosives inside. In video captured by a surveillance camera on the bridge, a huge fireball is seen, seeming to consume several vehicles. A small sedan and a tractor-trailer truck driving side by side appear at the epicenter of the blast. The explosion caused two sections of the bridge to partly collapse.
The truck driver was identified by Russian media as 51-year-old Mahir Yusubov of Azerbaijan.
Yusubov reportedly received an order to transport fertilizer through the internet and may have had his truck wired with explosives by Ukrainian special-ops units who used him as an unwitting suicide bomber.
“There is no doubt, this is an act of terrorism aimed at destroying critically important civilian infrastructure,” Russian president Vladimir Putin said on Sunday in response to the attack. “This was devised, carried out and ordered by the Ukrainian special services.”
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky taunted Russia over the bombing with a tongue-in-cheek weather report.
“Today was a good and mostly sunny day in our country,” Zelensky said. “Over most of the territory, it was about 20 degrees Celsius and sunny.”
“Unfortunately, it was cloudy in Crimea, although it was still warm. But however the clouds are, Ukrainians know what to do, and they know that our future is sunny,” he continued. “This is the future without invaders, on all our territory, in particular in Crimea.”
Russian media identified two victims of the bombing as “a husband-and-wife team of tour guides from St. Petersburg” who made YouTube videos on Russian history.
“The victims of the attack were Eduard, 53, and Zoya, 33, who were husband and wife, Mash wrote. Zoya was a professional historian and journalist, while Eduard specialized in the history and architecture of St. Petersburg,” RT reported.
“They created two YouTube channels in 2020, where they had begun publishing documentaries. The channels currently only feature a series about the last Russian emperor, Nikolai II, and his family titled: ‘The Last Romanovs. The fall of the empire.’”