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3 May, 2024 07:56

New details emerge of 2022 Crimean Bridge bombing

The explosive device used in the Ukrainian attack was reportedly made from rocket propellant and triggered by a GPS tracking device
New details emerge of 2022 Crimean Bridge bombing

The Kommersant newspaper has revealed new details of the Russian investigation into the Ukrainian plot to blow up the Crimean Bridge in 2022, including the suspected mastermind of the bombing.

A truck laden with explosives blew up while it was crossing the key Russian transport link on October 8, 2022, damaging the bridge and killing five civilians. Kiev initially denied responsibility for the attack, but has since hailed the operation as a major success for its special services.

According to Kommersant, which was given access to forensic paperwork from the case, Russian investigators have ruled out their initial theory that the attack was conducted by Ukrainian military intelligence.

Instead, Russian officials now believe the bombing was orchestrated by Vasily Malyuk, who currently heads Ukraine’s civilian security agency, the SBU, the newspaper said on Thursday. Malyuk was allegedly in charge of the group of agents behind the attack from at least March 2022, when he was appointed deputy head of the Ukrainian successor to the KGB. Previous reports said the explosives had been disguised as rolls of plastic film.

According to Kommersant, the Ukrainians used solid rocket fuel as the main component of the improvised explosive device. The blast was initiated by a small explosive charge, most likely C4 or PE-8. The fuse was triggered by a GPS tracker, which sent a signal to detonate after the truck carrying the bomb reached a pre-set location on the bridge.

The report included other details such as the model of the truck hired to deliver the explosives, and whose driver was killed in the explosion. Eight suspects involved in the smuggling of the bomb via Bulgaria, Georgia, and Armenia were also named by the newspaper.

The investigative phase was reportedly completed in February. The Russian Prosecutor General’s office is expected to finalize its case and send it to a military tribunal for trial in June, Kommersant said.

Senior Ukrainian officials have identified the destruction of the Crimean Bridge as a national priority. Sergey Kislitsa, Kiev’s envoy to the UN, issued a threat against the structure earlier this week, expressing hope that it would not be standing by the end of the year.

Ukrainian expectations were reportedly boosted by the recent secret delivery by the US of ATACMS mid-range missiles, which was revealed last month.