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24 Oct, 2022 18:25

Crimean Bridge blast could be linked to firing of top Russian official – RBK

Deputy Transport Minister Aleksandr Sukhanov was responsible for transport security, according to the business daily
Crimean Bridge blast could be linked to firing of top Russian official – RBK

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has fired Deputy Transport Minister Aleksandr Sukhanov. The official, who was relieved of his duties on Monday, was previously responsible for transport security.

His dismissal could be linked to the truck explosion on the Crimean Bridge, earlier this month, Moscow business daily RBK reported.

According to a brief decree published by the government, Sukhanov was dismissed “at his own request.” Russian officials have not yet officially commented on the move. However, RBK reports that the deputy minister was slated for discharge after the Crimean Bridge blast, which took place on October 8.

Sukhanov assumed his post in 2017. One of his most important duties was overseeing the work of a federal agency responsible for the security of the strategically important link, among other transport facilities.

The Crimean Bridge was hit by a massive explosion on October 8, which severely damaged its road traffic section and killed three civilians, as well as set a passing freight train on fire. Several top Ukrainian officials openly celebrated the attack, but stopped short of claiming responsibility for it.

Moscow has blamed Kiev for the incident, branding the explosion a “terrorist attack.” Russian law enforcement officials claim to have established how the bomb, which was disguised as construction materials, made it to the bridge from the Ukrainian port city of Odessa via multiple transit countries.

Moscow has also identified 12 individuals as suspected accomplices in the plot and arrested eight of them, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said. Russian investigators believe the attack was orchestrated by Ukrainian military intelligence.