Russia Arrests 8 in Crimea Bridge Attack

Nation's FSB says explosives came to Russia from Ukraine via Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2022 6:26 AM CDT
Updated Oct 12, 2022 6:46 AM CDT
Russia Arrests 8 in Crimea Bridge Attack
Flame and smoke rise from the Crimean Bridge on Saturday.   (AP Photo)

Vladimir Putin seemed determined to find out who blew up a portion of the bridge connecting Crimea to Russia over the weekend, and on Wednesday, his FSB security service announced it had arrested eight individuals in connection with the blast. Officials say five of the arrestees were Russian, while the remaining three were either Ukrainian or Armenian, reports Al Jazeera. Twelve others were identified as accomplices, per Russia's TASS news agency. The FSB is also still pinning the blame on Ukraine—specifically, Ukraine's military intel service and its director—and claims the explosives used in the attack, said to have been stored in plastic film rolls, originated in Ukraine's Odesa in August, then made their way to Russia via Bulgaria, Georgia, and Armenia.

The FSB alleges that attacks were also planned for Moscow and Bryansk, a Russian city about 240 miles southwest of the capital, but claims it staved off those attacks, per Reuters. A large section of the Crimean Bridge was destroyed in the Saturday explosion, as were multiple fuel tankers on a train that were headed for the annexed territory. Putin lashed out at Ukraine after the blast by ordering missile and drone strikes in cities across the nation. The latest apparent act of retaliation came Wednesday, when at least seven people were killed and eight injured in a strike at a crowded market in the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka, the governor of Ukraine's Donetsk region tells Reuters.

Despite widespread celebration across Ukraine over the bridge attack, a senior Ukrainian official is scoffing at accusations that his country was behind it. "All the activities of the FSB and [Russia's] Investigative Committee are nonsense," Andriy Yusov, a rep for the country's defense intelligence agency, told Ukrainian media, per the BBC. "They are fake structures [that] serve the Putin regime, so we're definitely not going to comment on their latest announcements." On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Russia's mission for its invasion of Ukraine remains "exactly the same" in the wake of the bridge explosion, noting, "These goals only become more relevant against the backdrop of the actions of the Ukrainian regime." (Read more Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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