Crimea bridge: How Russia is rebuilding its vital link

Satellite images reveal how a connection that is key the Crimean peninsula, damaged by the explosion in October in mystical circumstances, has been mostly fixed.

Whenever it had been initially opened in 2018, the Crimea bridge – also known as the Kerch Bridge – was hailed by Russian media as “the construction of this century”, four years after Moscow illegally annexed Crimea.

The explosion has severely hampered Russia’s capacity to keep its troops provided, having to turn to a ferry that is restricted alternatively.

It has additionally been an important embarrassment for President Putin, given the bridge’s importance as both a strategic and project that is symbolic.

Exactly what caused the explosion in the Crimean bridge?

Just how has Russia been rebuilding the bridge?

Repairs to the connection have been planned for completion in 2023 july.

Although not yet fully completed, construction appears to be ahead of schedule.

The process of clearing damage and repairs that are beginning shortly after the explosion on 8 October.

Cranes on barges had been floated out towards the website to get rid of four sections of road which had broken or collapsed.

The bridge had been ready for new construction by the finish of October.

During November, cloud cover made analysis via satellite images of the reconstruction impossible, but social media posts from Russian sources and news that is regional give further understanding of the procedure.

Images reveal that pre-made parts of carriageway were carried to the damaged site on top of giant flat-bed transporters – a journey which took seven hours from the coast that is russian.

Cranes added to the stable parts of connection then laid them into place.

Finally, the latest sections of carriageway were given an asphalt surface.

“The connection has certainly been fixed more speedily than the timescales common in civilian engineering jobs,” claims Dr Andrew Barr, a civil and engineering researcher that is structural.

“But the resource prioritisation involved with restoring a armed forces and asset that is governmental things somewhat, specially in a nation at war,” he adds.

President Putin produced visit to the connection on 5 December, and the Kremlin posted a video clip which it says shows him driving a vehicle over the fixed section, being told in regards to the project.

At one point, Mr Putin had been told by way of a worker that traffic have been due to resume on 20 December, but that “accelerated construction” had permitted the section he was on to open sooner than that.

Just how poorly had been the bridge damaged?

The bridge carries both train and road traffic over the Kerch Strait between Russia as well as the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014.

Satellite images expose that fun caused sections of 1 associated with the two road carriageways to collapse into the ocean, with only a part of it visible above water.

The blast also set light to fuel containers on a moving train in the rail that is adjacent, but that was reopened soon afterwards.

The part that is damaged of road bridge was 900ft (274 metres) very long.

Three people died in the explosion. The connection has been closed to road that is heavy ever since, even though some light traffic has been allowed to make use of it.

The reason for the blast remains a secret. Russian officials said it was a act that is terrorist two men from southern Russia who had been driving a vehicle over the bridge once the explosion happened.

Other theories proposed the connection could have been attacked using a missile that is boat-launched a maritime drone. But there is been no verification on the side that is ukrainian of of those possible explanations.

It is crucial for supplying goods such as gas and meals to the populace that is civilian, also to the naval base at Sevastopol, which will be house to Russia’s Ebony water fleet.

The bridge has also develop into a major path for supplying Russian forces in southern Ukraine since Russia’s intrusion of Ukraine last February.

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