Putin drives a Mercedes across Crimea bridge damaged by blast
The bridge suffered significant damage after an October 8 bombing that the Kremlin claims was carried out by Ukrainian military intelligence
December 5, 2022 9:17pm
Updated: December 6, 2022 12:25pm
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday drove across the Crimean bridge linking Russia to the annexed territory in a Mercedes less than two months after a bombing damaged the bridge.
Putin was shown on state television behind the wheel of a Mercedes, driving down the 12-mile (19 km) Kerch Strait Bridge he inaugurated in 2018. Next to the president was Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, to whom he talked about the attack.
"We are driving on the right-hand side," Putin said, as he drove across the bridge. "The left side of the bridge, as I understand it, is in working condition, but nevertheless it needs to be completed. It still suffered a little, we need to bring it to an ideal state."
Putin driving a Mercedes while crossing the newly re-built Crimea Bridgepic.twitter.com/hCXDPbRQEu— 🇪🇺 🇺🇦 𝒰𝓂𝒷𝒾𝓈𝒶𝓂 🇺🇦 🇪🇺 (@Umbisam) December 5, 2022
The bridge, Europe’s largest, suffered significant damage after an October 8 bombing that the Kremlin claims was carried out by Ukrainian military intelligence. Ukraine, however, has never claimed responsibility for the attack.
“How many people worked on the repairs?” Putin Asks.
Khunsnullin replies: “500 people, three floating cranes, four barges, and 31 pieces of equipment around the clock.”
The explosion damaged one section of the bridge, temporarily halting traffic across it. It also destroyed several fuel tankers that were on a train headed toward Crimea at the time of the bombing.
In another video shared by state media, Putin is seen walking down the bridge, where there are scorch marks left over from the bombing.
On October 14, Moscow announced plans to complete the repairs on the bridge by July 1, 2023, according to the government.