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President Zelenskyy taunts Putin over Crimea bridge blast with tongue-in-cheek weather report
8 October 2022, 07:37 | Updated: 8 October 2022, 22:31
Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy taunted Vladimir Putin with a tongue-in-cheek weather report after the only bridge between Russia and Crimea was blown up in a suspected special forces operation.
He said: “Today was a good and mostly sunny day in our country. Over most of the territory, it was about 20 degrees Celsius and sunny.
"Unfortunately, it was cloudy in Crimea, although it was still warm.
"But however the clouds are, Ukrainians know what to do, and they know that our future is sunny.
“This is the future without invaders, on all our territory, in particular in Crimea.”
Three people were killed when the bomb took down a chunk of the bridge between Russia and the Ukrainian region.
The vital bridge that links Crimea to the Russian mainland was hit by an explosion this morning, causing a a huge fire which led to the collapse of the bridge.
Russian authorities said three people were killed in the blast.
Russia's Investigative Committee said the bodies of two victims, a man and a woman, have been recovered from the water and their identities are being established, adding that it believed they were in a car close to the truck when it exploded.
There is speculation that either a drone packed with explosives or saboteurs deploying a bomb-laden boat could have been behind the blast.
Russia blamed a truck bomb for the explosion - saying it had been destroyed at the hands of Ukrainian saboteurs.
The attack could hinder Putin’s forces as it is a key supply route, with a section of the bridge collapsing into the sea, and oil tankers on a train caught alight in the blast.
One Ukrainian official boasted “Putin should be happy. Not everyone gets such an expensive birthday present.”
Pictures and video footage on social media shows the Kerch Rail Bridge engulfed in flames with plumes of thick black smoke into the sky. A section of the road bridge next to the train line has collapsed into the sea.
There are conflicting reports behind the source of the blast with Russian officials claiming a truck bomb is to blame.
While Ukraine is not confirming if the country is behind the attack, some have celebrated it.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the head of the Ukrainian President's Office shared a picture of the disaster this morning and aid: "Crimea, the bridge, the beginning.
"Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be expelled."
⚡️Eyewitnesses post photos, video of the fiercely burning Kerch bridge.— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) October 8, 2022
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. pic.twitter.com/5wvIjBZmZZ
RIA-Novosti and the Tass news agency quoted local Russian official Oleg Kryuchkov as saying an object thought to be a fuel storage tank caught fire and that traffic has been stopped on the bridge.
The attack comes just a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin's 70th birthday.
The crossing, the longest in Europe, is a pair of road and rail bridges that Russia built after it seized and annexed Crimea from Ukraine in violation of international law in 2014. Ukrainians have repeatedly threatened to strike the bridge with Russians use as an essential link.