Russia arrests 8 over Crimea bridge bombing


MOSCOW—Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said Wednesday it had detained five Russians and three Ukrainian and Armenian citizens in connection with the bombing of a key bridge to Crimea.

The FSB said the attack was orchestrated by Ukraine’s military intelligence agency and its director, Kirillo Budanov, and reflected President Vladimir Putin’s condemnation of what he called a “terrorist attack” against critical civilian infrastructure.

“The organizer of the terrorist attack on the Crimean bridge was the main intelligence agency of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, its head Kirilo Budanov, its employees and agents,” said the main heir of the Soviet-era KGB. said the FSB.

Ukraine has not officially confirmed its involvement in Saturday’s bridge explosion, but some Ukrainian officials celebrated the damage, with an unidentified Ukrainian official telling The New York Times that Kyiv was behind the attack. Told.

According to the FSB, the blasting device was camouflaged in rolls of polyethylene construction film on 22 pallets with a total weight of 22.7 tons and was transported from Ukraine to Russia via Bulgaria, Georgia and Armenia.

“Control of the movement of cargo along the entire route and contact with the participants in the criminal transport scheme was carried out by employees of the HUR MO,” the FSB said in a statement, referring to the acronym for Ukrainian military intelligence. used.

The 12-mile (19-kilometer) road and rail bridge, personally opened by Putin in 2018, is logistically vital to his military operations, carrying supplies to the fighting Russian forces in southern Ukraine. became something.

The explosion destroyed part of the road bridge and temporarily stopped traffic. Several fuel tankers were also destroyed on trains bound for the annexed Crimea from neighboring southern Russia.

The Russian military on Monday launched a massive missile attack on Ukrainian cities, including power supplies, in what Putin said was retaliation for the bridge bombing.

The FSB, led by Putin’s ally Alexander Bortnikov, also said it had prevented Ukrainian attacks in both Moscow and the western Russian city of Bryansk.