Russia Arrests 8 Over 'Terrorist' Crimea Bridge Blast

Eight suspects have been arrested over the Kerch Strait Bridge explosion which Russia has deemed a "terrorist attack" overseen by Ukrainian secret services. 

Interfax reported that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested five Russians and three citizens of Ukraine and Armenia, which follows the FSB naming Ukrainian intelligence under its director Kyrylo Budanov as having organized the massive bombing.

Russia Arrests 8 Over 'Terrorist' Crimea Bridge Blast

The FSB statement said further that "The explosive device was concealed in rolls with polyethylene construction film on 22 pallets with a total weight of 22,770 kilograms," as quoted in RIA Novosti. While in the aftermath of the powerful blast there's been much speculation, one theory is that a suicide bomber detonated an 18-wheeler while in motion - though this remains unconfirmed at this point. Others have said explosives may have been placed under the bridge, given the extent of destruction.

In total Russia identified that at least 12 accomplices total were believed behind the terror attack, which killed three people.

"Three Ukrainians, two Georgians and an Armenian national were behind the plan to arrange the delivery of explosives from Bulgaria first to Georgia and then to Armenia," the FSB statement said. "Another Ukrainian citizen as well five identified Russians had prepared documents for a non-existent Crimean firm to receive the explosives," it added.

The vital bridge which has been a major Russian military logistics hub throughout the over 7-month invasion is 12-miles long and opened at 2018, after a total construction cost of $3.6 billion. It is also a central civilian transit hub. President Putin's initial reaction was as follows

"There's no doubt it was a terrorist act directed at the destruction of critically important civilian infrastructure of the Russian Federation," Putin said in a video of a meeting Sunday with the chairman of Russia's Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin. "And the authors, perpetrators, and those who ordered it are the special services of Ukraine."

Ukrainian officials and the public openly celebrated the bombing, with an adviser to President Zelensky, Mykhailo Podolyak, stating on Twitter: "Crimea, the bridge, the beginning. Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be expelled."

There's currently talk of Ukraine's postal service issuing a new commemorative stamp...

Given the major Russian aerial bombardment of over a dozen Ukrainian cities Monday into Tuesday, the Kremlin is escalating its military actions in response. 

The Russian Foreign Ministry said following the bridge attack: "The Kiev  regime’s reaction towards destruction of civilian infrastructure is a testament to its terrorist nature." At the same time President Putin has authorized increased strikes on Ukrainian energy and military infrastructure. 

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