Ukraine war: Vladimir Putin visits Crimea bridge following October bomb attack

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By Euronews
Vladimir Putin pictured on the bridge
Vladimir Putin pictured on the bridge   -  Copyright  Credit: Kremlin.ru

Russia's president Vladimir Putin has inspected a Crimean bridge that was damaged by a bomb attack in October.

Images of Russian state television showed Putin driving across the reconstructed bridge during a visit on Monday afternoon.

He also spoke to workers and discussed the repairs of the Kerch Bridge with a senior government official responsible for the project.

It was his first visit to the peninsula since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 24.

The bomb attack on the bridge disrupted travel between Russia's mainland and Crimea, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014.

Russia blamed the "terrorist act" on Ukrainian military intelligence and responded with several waves of strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

Russia's security services (FSB) initially arrested eight people on suspicion of involvement in the bomb attack, including five Russians and "three Ukrainian and Armenian citizens".

Ukrainian officials have not directly claimed responsibility, despite publically joking about the blast and mocking Russia. 

Putin's visit to the bridge comes as Ukraine reported a new barrage of Russian missiles on Monday.

Moscow has always denied targeting civilians and says Kyiv's failure to negotiate is to blame for strikes on Ukraine's energy sector.

Russia's government recently said it was also carrying out "fortification work" in Crimea to "ensure the safety of Crimeans".

Sergei Aksionov, the Russian-installed governor stressed that Crimea's security depended "mainly on measures to be implemented in the Kherson region".

Kyiv has repeatedly stated that it wants to retake the whole of Crimea.

Additional sources • AP, EFE