Special Forces Sabotage or Missile Damaged Crimea Bridge

The Kerch bridge from Russia to Crimea has been hit by a massive explosion on the span that carries railway traffic early on Oct. 8.

The Kerch bridge railway is critical for getting supplies into Russian forces in Crimea.

30 thoughts on “Special Forces Sabotage or Missile Damaged Crimea Bridge”

  1. Anyone who claims to already know for certain how this was done is high on themselves.

    Heck, maybe there were bombs on the truck, the train, the bridge, a boat, and a missile, and several of them failed.

    Regardless, traffic is reduced and whoever certified that bridge as safe for a single train is not terribly diligent. It could not have been done in the time it took them to do it. Further, enough damage could have been done that any given train passing over it now could be the straw that broke the camel’s back. They may also be using much lighter trains now–perhaps only half-filling the fuel cars, for example.

    Fuel trains are very heavy and routing around this bridge would require multiple transportation systems delivering a much reduced load on a trip that takes a week rather than half a day, and subjects the transports to all kinds of enemy action.

    Finally, this thing was supposedly as secure as Russia could possibly make it. But it was hit. I expect it will be hit again.

    Russian response? Fire 700 million dollars worth of irreplaceable missiles at playgrounds and intersections, killing 19 civilians (in a country with how many millions of people?), and requiring the road repair crews to come out and repair the roads and intersections, which they did in under 24 hours. I haven’t heard about the playgrounds. Regardless, these are war crimes without even the pretense of claiming there was a HIMARS launcher parked on the roof of a school or hospital.

    And no. It doesn’t reduce the Ukrainian’s will to fight back. Quite the opposite.

  2. Destroying the rail bridge would have been far more effectve in shutting down freight transport, if this was either a missile or a drone boat. Would that have been just to difficult?
    If it was ‘techically doable’, that seems to counter the boat/missile theories.

    The rail line is quite a bit higher than the highway at that point, which might be more difficult for a drone boat to damage. But there might be areas where the rail line is lower, which would have been just as good for a drone boat to attack?

    OTOH, the attacker may have been hoping the burning train would do more damage, and needed the explosion to hit it from the side rather than from directly below.

  3. A drone boat exploded under the bridge, lifting it off the piers. The road sections are on rollers that permit movement. The bridge sections are held in place by gravity. In the video I can see the wave in front of the boat as the bow peeks out just before the BOOM. There is no damage to be seen to the asphalt. The drone boat, which came in from the Azor Sea, was directed under the bridge, to coincide with the train, which was slowly moving.

  4. It was a missile, as shown by video footage.
    Train and car traffic was resumed.
    The damage appears to be superficial.
    The payback will not be superficial.

    Currently, for unknown reasons, the electricity from Sweden to Poland is cut off and the same is from Poland to Ukraine.
    And Russia is hitting targets all over Ukraine infrastructure.
    BTW, the frost will make the terrain harder in the north, so movements will not be hindered by winter.

    Ukraine gave their best punch, let’s see what Russia is giving back.

    • Obviously,this was not a missile,it was the truck, with the explosives underneath the bed, it would have not needed a lot because the blast was directed downwards by the thick steel bed of the truck.
      Question is who did it, the last entity to attack Russian infrastructure,Nord Stream,was Russia. But this time it could have been Ukraine ,or Russians who are upset with Putin for his disastrous leadership and bungling of simple military maneuvers.
      No one has ever seen such clear evidence of stupidity ,corruption, and incompetence as the Russian military has displayed.
      Time for US to give the ATACKMS which can hit the bridge and keep it from functioning, also,they need modern multi role aircraft like F-16’s.

      • Who hates Nord stream? USA
        Who put sanctions on companies building Nord stream? USA
        Who said Nord stream would be shut down one way or another? USA
        Who sabotaged Nord stream? Russia!


  5. The outer highway spans in two places got blown off their supports, so the remaining inner highway spans are down to single lane traffic both ways. They’ve repaired the train segment enough for single track usage (apparently sending a test train and several passenger trains over the rail span overnight), though the burnt train is still being removed. The fire damage may prevent using that rail segment for freight use though, limiting freight movements to the far side single track.

    So much of this is weird though. The truck doesn’t seem to be a SVBIED, and ukraine isn’t into suicide bombings yet. There’s the weird shadows suggesting a drone boat, but the only video evidence show the alleged boat under the span that didn’t get blown off, flanked by the two spans that did. Ukraine, as currently known, doesn’t have any weapons with the range and explosive power necessary (ATACMS wouldn’t be enough, even if it had the reach.), we’re let wondering if this was actual special forces sabotage somehow?

    • If it was a drone ship, the blast might have lifted the segment above straight up – but the blast at an angle on the two adjacent ones might have applied force at an angle that meant they didn’t come straight back down??

    • I saw one report this morning that a military expert in explosives who watched a video that showed the explosion said it did not look to him to be like truck bomb explosions usually look, so he was not sure how the explosives were delivered. I don’t know how much to rely on that one supposed expert.

  6. Putin has just been on the phone to Barclays Bank, London. He wants a bridging loan.

    (I can’t claim originality on this)

  7. No structural damage to the railway bridge. The melted steel rails are already replaced and train traffic resumed. The explosive force would have been more effectively applied between the two vertical supports at the base. Better luck next time.

  8. The text Brian wrote seems not to describe the event very clearly. Here is what I read in other places.

    The bridge carries both rail and automobile / truck traffic — separate spans for the two, but they run next to each other.

    There appears to have been an explosion in an automobile or truck on the vehicle span — a fairly large amount of explosive. This destroyed a small portion of the deck that carries one direction of the vehicle traffic. Unknown how much damage occurred to the structure of the vehicle part of the bridge.

    It appears that this explosion also ignited one or more tank cars of a train that was on the rail part of the bridge at that time. It appears that the structure of the rail part of the bridge was not damaged by the explosion. Whether the fire will cause much damage to the structure of the rail part of the bridge remains to be seen.

    The reports I saw said that they thought it was unlikely that the initial explosion was due to a missile, but I suppose until more investigation is done, it remains possible that it was a missile rather than a car bomb responsible.

    • The train was standing still at the moment of explosion. This was most likely not a coincident. Ukrainian SOF had probably manipulated the railroad signaling system to make the train stop at an anticipated location. If they use old fashioned track circuits, this is very easy to do.

      Then to hit the (known) location with a missile or a suicide truck is not very hard to do.
      Theoretically, they could have placed explosives there in advance but Russia has invested heavily in bridge security so maybe not.

      Some speculate is was a drone boat from below but the footage indicates the explosion was from above. The suspect truck looks intact on some frames where the explosion has started which points to a missile or something else.
      Explosives on the train is unlikely because the train looks intact besides the fire damage.

      The operation was probably well prepared because Ukraine started selling postage stamps with a bridge destruction theme the day after…

      • I agree with you, if you download and play this video, frame by frame the truck is still in one piece, there is a very bright light top right of the screen and the all the lower 25% part of the screen has light overexposure, washout before the actual explosion, washout is seen on full screen, also there is a little camera shake a few frame before, confirmed by the truck travelling on the other side of the road, towards the camera this could have been due to could a shock wave, it can be a little confusing as the street lights light up the rear of truck as it travels… Also, another camera view, through the pillars, shows the truck passing before the explosion which occurred much further to the side of the roadway, Yet, another factor is the debris which is moving in the wrong direction to the road if the device was in the truck, you would not see large chunks moving toward the truck that have been ladled as the device carrier

  9. It could have been a lot worse. It’s amazing the bridge was opened for traffic 3.3 years after the contract was awarded (per Wiki). You wouldn’t see infrastructure built that quickly in any of the liberal democracies – it’s admirable.

      • That was built fast because not having it was ruining the town’s economy. The major
        was given special powers as Commissar for the bridge. His timely execution won him re-election.

    • We need to get Ukraine ATACKMS to destroy the bridge and any equipment used to repair it as well as the crews, make sure not a goat can be supported by the bridge and take out every ferry.

    • Well, there are information floating around that the bridge is poorly constructed.
      Corruption is the default state in Russia and this results in all sorts of shortcuts and substandard solutions. Actually the main reason the war effort is failing.

      • The railway bridge is a creative design with a 6x safety factor. The rails were repaired and trains were running before Brian could lick his pencil and write a story.

      • Bridge damage indicates bridge is not robust. A second hit in any location should effectively destroy the road bridge.

        • Metal rebars damaged by fire must be re-inspected and recertified. All depends to what standards of safety you want to adhere. Since Russia is under pressure to open the bridge ASAP the inspections might be a bit less … rigorous. Still, can be done and reinforced as needed. If there’s weekly inspection it might even open it without any structural reinforcements. And in a couple of years split have pork money for the repairs of that section.

    • There’s ongoing investigations into dutch companies involved in the design/construction, violating sanctions.

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