Russia Says Crimean Bridge Will Be Repaired By 2023

Russia Says Crimean Bridge Will Be Repaired By 2023

by Swarajya Staff - Oct 15, 2022 09:28 PM +05:30 IST
Russia Says Crimean Bridge Will Be Repaired By 2023Crimea Bridge

Russia has stated that the crucial Kerch bridge which connects the Crimean peninsula with the Russian mainland, will be completed by July 2023.

The Crimean bridge, also known as the Kerch Bridge, is located on the Kerch Strait which separates the Crimean peninsula from Russia. The Kerch bridge was damaged last week as a result of an attack planned by the Ukrainians, according to Russia's FSB

The attack reportedly left four people dead. The contract for the bridge's repair has been offered to Irkutsk-based construction firm Nizhneangarsktransstroy, as per information on Russia's website. 

The 19 km long bridge is Europe's longest bridge and is a key supply route for Russian forces in southern Ukraine. The bridge is the only direct link between the Crimean peninsula and the Russian mainland, which makes it a strategic target in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

It connects eastern Crimea with southern Russia's Taman peninsula across the Kerch Strait. As per a report by the Economist, it was considered a symbol of 'Russian might and resurgence'.

Prior to its completion, the peninsula was only accessible from Russia by plane or ferry. Reports from Sky news indicate that heavy vehicles are unable to use the bridge as of now. 

The construction of the bridge cost $3.7 billion and it began after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Russian construction company Stroygazmontazh (SGM Group) began work in 2016 and the bridge was opened to the general population in 2018.

The explosion led to the collapse of midway sections into the sea, along with causing damage to the railway line. Heavy vehicles are now relying on ferries to travel into the Crimean peninsula, which reportedly takes several more days. 

After the bridge collapsed, there were widespread celebrations across Ukraine, the Ukrainian government, however, has not officially taken responsibility for the attack on the bridge. Financial Times has reported that the bridge's collapse was a symbolic blow to Russia, quite similar to the sinking of Moskova.

Russia started striking cities across Ukraine in retaliation for the attack on the bridge. Ukraine has denied this and claimed that Russia was planning for strikes on Ukrainian cities even before the explosion on the Crimean bridge. 

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