Expatica news

Russian divers to examine Crimea bridge

Divers were to inspect the waters beneath the Crimea bridge on Sunday a day after a huge blast damaged Russia’s key road and rail link to the annexed peninsula, killing three people.

“We are ordering the examination by divers, they will start work from six in the morning,” Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin told state media late Saturday after the early morning explosion.

He also said the “first results” of Russia’s inspection of the bridge were due Sunday.

Authorities in Russia and Crimea have tried to reassure the population and downplayed the attack on the bridge, which has major symbolic importance for the Kremlin.

Officals said car and train traffic had resumed over the bridge, with Moscow’s transport ministry saying Sunday that long-distance passenger trains from Crimea to Russia were “moving according to the standard schedule”.

The Russian-installed leader of Crimea, Sergei Askyonov, said late Saturday that authorities were assessing whether it is safe to let busses through.

He said people who want to get back to Russia could take a car or a ferry to cities such as Krasnodar and Anapa.

Moscow said a truck bomb exploded setting off a massive blaze, but has stopped short of blaming Ukraine.

Some officials, mainly in Crimea and Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine, have nonetheless called for retaliation.

Aksyonov urged Crimeans to remain “calm” and said the “situation is under control”.

But he added: “Of course, there are emotions and there is a healthy desire to seek revenge.”