Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused Ukraine of carrying out the attack with the involvement of the "two superpower nations." "Today's attack on the Crimean bridge was carried out by the Kyiv regime. This regime is terrorist and has all the hallmarks of an international organized crime group," she said. "Decisions are made by Ukrainian officials and the military with the direct participation of American and British intelligence agencies and politicians. The U.S. and Britain are in charge of a terrorist state structure."
Dramatic footage appears to show the moment huge explosions ripped through the 12-mile crossing, with large flashes and thunderous blasts seen and heard from neighboring towns. Couple Natalya Kulik, 36, and her husband Alexei, 40, were killed in their Hyundai car which was close to one of the blasts. Their daughter Angelina, 14, suffered wounds, a broken nose and a concussion and is being treated in intensive care at a hospital in Russia's Krasnodar region.
"It's very bad, in real life [the damage] looks very bad," a witness told local media.
Russia's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov later said Moscow is aware that Britain, the U.S. and NATO were providing intelligence to Ukraine. "We know very well how deep the coordination is between the Kyiv regime, Washington, a number of European capitals and NATO," he answered reporters asking about the bridge strike. "We know perfectly well how much information comes from NATO and Washington to Kyiv on a permanent basis. Therefore, we have no illusions here." (Related: NATO offers Ukraine security guarantee but not an invite to the alliance.)
In response to this attack, Putin's furious propagandists called for Moscow to conduct a retaliatory strike on the Tower Bridge in London. A close Putin ally and the head of RT propaganda media empire Margaret Simonyan demanded: "Does this make Tower Bridge a legitimate target? For me, that's quite it."
Russian officials and lawmakers are also calling for immediate action from the Kremlin. Russian senator Vladimir Dzhabarov insisted Putin redouble efforts to take over Ukraine in response to the strikes. "Ukraine must be completely cut off from the Black Sea, otherwise the threats to Crimea will be repeated again and again," he said. Another senator Andriy Klishas said that "the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine are very urgent tasks. "We will understand that these tasks have been completed when such actions become impossible for the remnants of the Ukrainian state."
Furthermore, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Putin should 'blow up' the homes of Ukrainians in response to the drone strike. "The world and our own experience show that it is impossible to fight terrorists with international sanctions, intimidation or exhortations. They only understand the language of power. Only personal and completely inhumane methods," he said adding that the main thing is to destroy the top leadership of terrorist formations, in whatever cracks these insects hide.
"It's difficult but possible," he said.
According to Russian authorities, the Kerch bridge that was opened in 2018 and enables road and rail travel between Russia and Crimea, was attacked with two "unmanned surface vessels" drones that travelled over water rather than through the air. In televised comments on Monday evening, Putin accused Ukraine of launching the "senseless" and "cruel" attack and vowed to retaliate.
During the TV appearance with Putin, Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin said the bridge would be completely repaired by November 1, while road traffic would resume in one direction from 15 September.
Because of the "violent terrorist attack," long traffic jams occurred on the remaining road route out of Crimea. Also, severe train delays on the railway were reported and the ferry crossing that runs parallel to the bridge was also affected.
"Russian officials urged holidaymakers stranded in Crimea to drive home through areas of southern Ukraine occupied by Russia since its army invaded last year. The officials said they would reduce curfew hours to let tourists through and that the army would keep the route "safe," BBC reported. Commercial flights between Russia and Crimea, which has become a popular holiday destination for Russians since 2014, have been suspended since Moscow's invasion.
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