Tue, 03 October 2023
The Daily Ittefaq

Putin ups security after Crimea bridge blast

Update : 09 Oct 2022, 15:35

The Russian president signed a decree increasing security after explosions occurred on the Kerch Bridge. Meanwhile, overnight shelling in Zaporizhzhia killed at least 17 people.

Russian divers are expected Sunday to examine the damage caused by a series of explosions on the Kerch Strait Bridge connecting Russia and Crimea.

Russia's deputy prime minister, Marat Khusnullin, was quoted in Russian media stating divers would start work at 6 a.m. (0300 GMT).

The blasts on Saturday prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin to sign a decree authorizing greater security for the strategically important bridge.

The decree also tightened security around critical infrastructure such as the electric and natural gas supply lines to Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014.

Putin also ordered that an investigative commission be established to probe the explosions. Russian authorities said three people died in the early morning blasts on the bridge.

Authorities believe a truck exploded and caused seven fuel tanker cars on a 59-car train headed towards Crimea on the lower level of the bridge to go up in flames.

It took about 10 hours for vehicle traffic on the bridge to be restored and for Russia's Transportation Ministry to give the go ahead to restart rail traffic.

Shelling kills 17 in Zaphorizhzhia: local official

Overnight shelling in the city of Zaphorizhzhia killed at least 17 people, local official Anatoliy Kurtev said early on Sunday.

"As a result of an overnight missile attack on Zaporizhzhia, apartment buildings and roads in a residential area of the city have been damaged," Kurtev said on Telegram.

The southeastern city is about 125 kilometers (80 miles) from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, currently held by Russian forces.

Ukraine: Tough fighting near town of Bakhmut

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address that Ukrainian forces are engaged in difficult battles near the strategically significant town of Bakhmut. Russian forces have repeatedly attempted to take the eastern city.

Bakhmut is on the main road leading to the also strategically significant towns of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk in the Donbas region, which Russia has not yet managed to fully occupy.

Zelenskyy also called on Western allies to supply more anti-aircraft systems as Russia continues firing missiles into Ukraine and has begun using Iranian kamikaze droneson the battlefield.

Officials in Kyiv believe that despite significant territorial gains in recent weeks which have seen Ukraine retake thousands of square kilometers, progress could slow with more determined resistance.

Ukraine's economy contracts 30% since war started

The Ukrainian economy contracted by 30% in the first three quarters of 2022 compared to the same time period in 2021. The Economy Ministry attributes the decline to Russia's invasion.

Weather also dampened the harvest in addition to the conflict, as did power supply cuts at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

In September, exports increased by 23% from August, the biggest increase since Moscow's February 24 invasion.

Uncertainty over the duration of the war as well as "further destruction of production facilities, infrastructure and residential buildings," harm the country's recovery, the ministry said.

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