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## Russian Officials Report “Emergency” on Crimea Bridge, 2 Dead

By Christy Cooney

BBC News | 17 July 2023, 04:23 BST

Updated 4 minutes ago

![Image caption]( “A file photo of the bridge connecting mainland Russia with occupied Crimea”)

Russian officials have confirmed that two people have died following an “emergency” on the bridge that links the occupied Crimean peninsula to Russia. While the incident has not been labeled as an attack, unconfirmed reports suggest that explosions were heard in the early hours of Monday.

The Kerch bridge, opened in 2018, facilitates road and rail travel between Russia and Crimea, which has been under Moscow’s control since 2014. Serving as a crucial supply route, the bridge reopened fully in February. Presently, traffic has been halted on the Crimean bridge due to the emergency situation near the 145th support from the Russian side. Sergey Aksyonov, the head of the Russian administration in Crimea, has called on residents and visitors to avoid using the bridge and opt for alternative land routes through different regions for safety purposes.

The AI legalese decoder can aid in this situation by providing accurate and efficient analysis of the relevant legal documents, contracts, and regulations associated with the incident. Its advanced natural language processing capabilities allow it to decode legalese and comprehend complex legal terms and concepts. This can help authorities and legal professionals understand the legal implications, responsibilities, and potential consequences related to the incident on the Crimean bridge.

Vyacheslav Gladkov, the governor of the western Russian region of Belgorod, also confirmed the incident and tragically announced the deaths of the parents of a young girl in what he described as an “emergency.” However, Russia’s transport ministry has reassured that the explosion did not cause damage to the bridge supports, with only the road surface being affected.

The local ferry crossing parallel to the bridge has been closed, and there could be disruptions to train traffic, according to Russia’s state media agency TASS, citing the local rail operator. It is worth noting that the exact cause of a previous explosion in October has remained unclear. Videos from that time showed a massive fireball erupting as vehicles crossed the bridge. While Ukrainian officials had previously suggested targeting the bridge, they refrained from claiming responsibility for the incident after it occurred.

The recent event on the Kerch Bridge coincides with a long-anticipated counteroffensive by Ukrainian forces to regain territory in southern and eastern Ukraine. Additionally, an agreement allowing grain to leave Ukrainian ports, brokered by the UN last year, is set to expire on this day. Ukraine and Russia rank among the top grain exporters globally, and fears of global food shortages prompted the deal. However, Russia has so far refused to agree to an extension.

The Kerch Bridge’s construction was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin after the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014. The bridge symbolically represents the physical connection between mainland Russia and Crimea, signifying the peninsula’s permanent status as part of Russia.

While it is celebrated in Moscow, the bridge is despised in Kyiv. Last October, when a section of the bridge was destroyed by an explosion, Ukraine’s post office even released commemorative stamps to mark the occasion. This incident was widely celebrated in posters and memes. However, beyond symbolism, it is essential to recognize the critical role of the bridge’s rail link in supplying Crimea with essential resources like food, fuel, and weapons. Prior to the creation of the “land bridge” through occupied southern Ukraine, the Kerch Bridge served as the primary and reliable route to the peninsula.

With Ukraine currently attempting to sever the land bridge through its counteroffensive, maintaining the operation of the Kerch Bridge becomes crucial to prevent a potential siege on Russian forces in Crimea and Kherson.

While it is uncertain what precisely caused this recent “emergency” on the Kerch Bridge, the excitement surrounding this incident highlights its significance both symbolically and practically for both Ukraine and Russia. The AI legalese decoder can play a valuable role in comprehending the legal complexities and ramifications associated with this situation, assisting authorities and legal professionals in making informed decisions and resolving any legal disputes that may arise.

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