Russia says key Crimea bridge damaged in blast reopens

Moscow on Thursday announced the full reopening to car traffic of a key Crimea bridge damaged by a blast in October.

The announcement came on the eve of the first anniversary of the Russian offensive in Ukraine. Moscow blamed Kyiv for the attack on the bridge linking the Moscow-annexed Crimea peninsula to mainland Russia, but Kyiv has denied the charges.

“All lanes of the Crimean bridge are fully open to car traffic 39 days ahead of schedule,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin said, quoted by his press service.

On Telegram, Khusnullin said the reopening was a “big gift for the Defender of the Fatherland Day” annual public holiday celebrated in Russia on Thursday.

Khusnullin added that “work was carried out round-the-clock” by around 500 people to complete the repairs.

The Russian government had the bridge to be repaired by July 2023.

Repairs on the railway part of the bridge — also called the Kerch bridge — are still on, Khusnullin said.

The Kerch bridge also serves as a vital transport link for carrying military equipment to Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine.

In October, the bridge — which was personally inaugurated by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018 — was partially destroyed in a blast that killed three people.

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