Too weak or too afraid? Russia bans rail carrying fuel from using the Crimean Bridge

The Crimean Bridge
The Crimean Bridge

Russia does not dare allow fuel trains to cross the Crimean Bridge, Southern Defense Forces spokesperson Dmytro Pletenchuk said on national TV on April 29.

"The Crimean bridge is not safe enough for military logistics,” he said.
“While regular cars, even military trucks, can drive on it, fully-fledged trains, for example with fuel, stay on Taman Peninsula for months."

Trains are not permitted to use the Crimean Bridge because the Russians are not sure whether the structure will handle them after it was damaged (in 2022-23 - ed.), he noted.

"We have a common national position regarding the Crimean Bridge, voiced by President - this structure is absolutely redundant there."

"Although this all is considered a joke by Russians, local brokers have long complained that sales have plummeted and commercial real estate was not put up for sale, because people, assessing the risks, understand that this (Crimea - ed.) is a rather risky area for investments, to put it mildly," Pletenchuk said.

Read also:

SBU attacks on the Crimean Bridge

Ukraine’s SBU Security Service attacked the Crimean Bridge for the first time on Oct. 8, 2022. After a truck explosion, two half-sections of the road section of the bridge collapsed, while the rail tracks were also damaged.

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The Kremlin accused Ukrainian Intelligence (HUR) head, Kyrylo Budanov, of organizing the sabotage. HUR denied these statements, calling them "nonsense."

Russia claimed to have completely restored the destroyed part of the bridge as of May 5, 2023. On July 8, 2023, then Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister, Hanna Malyar, confirmed that Ukraine was behind the explosion on the bridge.

The SBU attacked the Crimean Bridge again on July 7, 2023, using Sea Baby surface drones. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin admitted that one span of the road part of the Crimean Bridge could not be restored.

After Ukraine's successful attacks, the Russian administration additionally fenced the Crimean Bridge with "special anti-sabotage boom barriers" that purport to protect the structure from surface and underwater drones.

The Crimean Bridge will be destroyed by the end of the year, Ukrainian Navy Commander, Vice Admiral Oleksiy Neyizhpapa said in February 2024.

Kyrylo Budanov subsequently hinted that Ukraine would continue to strike at Russian targets in the temporarily occupied Crimea and advised people "against using the bridge."

Ukraine intends to destroy the Crimean Bridge once and for all in the first half of 2024, The Guardian reported.

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