Moscow accused Ukraine of being responsible for the tragic explosion on the bridge that connects Crimea to Russia on Sunday. Even as Ukraine condemned the most recent deadly missile assault on its soil that left at least 13 people dead.
The Crimea bridge explosion on Saturday was referred to as a “terrorist attack” by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who added that the Ukrainian secret services were the “writers, perpetrators, and supporters.”
According to Russian news outlets, Putin spoke at a meeting with the chairman of the inquiry team he established to examine the incident.
The latest devastating attack on the city of Zaporizhzhia in southern Ukraine resulted in the deaths of at least 13 people, including one child, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
According to a statement from the president’s office, the incident also left 89 people injured, including 11 children.
The “merciless attacks on innocent individuals” and residential structures, according to Zelensky, were “pure wickedness” committed by “savages and terrorists.”
Oleksandr Starukh, a regional official, shared images of severely damaged apartment buildings on Telegram and announced the start of a rescue mission to locate victims beneath the wreckage.
On Sunday, Russian authorities also condemned what they claimed to be an increase in Ukrainian firing into their territory that had damaged residences, office buildings, and a monastery.
Divers examine damage
The FBS in Russia, which is in charge of border security, said on Sunday that there had been a significant rise in Ukrainian armed formation assaults on Russian border territory since October.
The statement said that over a hundred artillery assaults had targeted residential and office buildings in Belgorod, Bryansk, and Kursk, three western border areas.
One person was murdered in the assaults, while five others, including a child, were injured.
Roman Starovoyt, the governor of the Kursk province, said that the Garnalski Saint Nicolas monastery had been struck by Ukrainian fire.
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He claimed that no one was wounded despite the structure having been attacked and causing a fire swiftly put out while publishing pictures of the damage on Telegram.
Moscow said divers would examine the waters under the enormous Crimea bridge on Sunday, one day after a vehicle bombing on the road and rail connection caused a significant fire that claimed three lives.
According to Marat Khusnullin, the deputy prime minister of Russia, the divers will submit their first report later on Sunday.
On Saturday, Russia reported that some train and vehicle traffic had resumed across the crucial artery, which reminded the Kremlin’s takeover of Crimea in 2014.
The 19-kilometer (12-mile) bridge serves as a crucial supply route between Russia and the Crimean Peninsula, which has been seized.
According to Moscow, the remains of an unnamed man and a woman, who were likely occupants in a vehicle traveling close to the truck’s explosive cargo, were retrieved from the sea after the assault early on Saturday.
Russian authorities claimed to have located the truck’s owner as a resident of the Krasnodar area in southern Russia.
On social media, Ukrainians and others celebrated the explosion, although Zelensky did not specifically mention it in his evening speech on Saturday, and Kyiv authorities have not claimed credit.
Before Putin’s declaration on Sunday, most Russian officials refrained from criticizing Kyiv.
Power restored at the power plant
Putin will preside over a meeting of his Security Council on Monday, and he has ordered the formation of a committee to investigate the Crimea bridge explosion.
Some military observers believe that the explosion might have a significant effect if Moscow feels the need to divert soldiers from other areas to Crimea, which is already understaffed, or if it causes a rush of evacuees.
Even if Ukrainians were not responsible for the explosion, according to Mick Ryan, a former Australian senior officer working at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, it represented “a tremendous influence operation triumph for Ukraine.”
He said on Twitter that it was evident that neither Russians nor the rest of the world could trust the military to defend any newly seized regions.
Because Crimea relies on the Russian mainland due to its takeover from Ukraine, authorities there have worked to alleviate concerns about food and fuel shortages.
It is the most recent in a string of failures for Russia.
The Kremlin’s legal annexation of Donetsk, the neighboring city of Lugansk, and the southern provinces of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson has been challenged by recent rapid territorial advances by Ukraine in the east and south.
Sergei Surovikin will lead Russia’s military in Ukraine, the Russian capital declared on Saturday in response to mounting domestic criticism of the Russian army.
In the south of Ukraine, Surovikin oversaw the Russian military earlier. He has participated in the battle in Syria more recently, as well as in the wars in Tajikistan and Chechnya in the 1990s.
The biggest nuclear power station in Europe, Zaporizhzhia, had its electricity restored by engineers on Sunday, according to Ukraine’s power company Energoatom, a day after it was reported that shelling had destroyed the facility’s final external power source.