Free Trial

Putin Calls Security Council Meeting After Crimean Bridge Blast


Russian President Vladimir Putin called the explosion that heavily damaged on the Crimean bridge on Saturday morning a "terrorist attack" and blamed it on Ukrainian secret services, accusing Kyiv of trying to destroy Russia's critically important civilian infrastructure.

  • The attack left the only bridge connecting mainland Russia with the Crimean Peninsula severely damaged, despite heightened security measures taken by the Russian military. It not only provided a key supply route for the Russian troops operating in southern Ukraine, but bears notable symbolic significance. The longest bridge in Europe, it was personally opened by Putin in 2018 to mark the annexation of Crimea and featured prominently in Russian state propaganda.
  • While the bridge was reportedly partly operational on Sunday, the importance of the attack cannot be overstated. Shipments of heavy weapons will remain disrupted for some time and Russia is struggling to establish secure supply lines across the newly annexed parts of Ukraine. A successful strike on such a critical object demonstrates Ukraine's capability to penetrate Russian defences, weighing on the morale of invading Russian troops. Furthermore, it makes any red lines set by Putin ring hollow, pressuring him to step up the intensity of his offensive to regain credibility.
  • Domestically, the attack has the potential to undermine public confidence in the Russian leadership, while exacerbating divisions in the ruling elite amid the search for a scape goat. The lack of an immediate, unified response from Moscow (there was some inconsistent communique from official propaganda in the initial hours) suggests that the top brass were taken by surprise. There is also growing backlash from pro-war hawks, amid reports of a brewing conflict between Defence Minister Shoigu and Wagner mercenary group leader Prigozhin.
  • Ukraine has not officially claimed responsibility for the attack but its leaders repeatedly expressed the intention to destroy the bridge. Local media (Ukrainska Pravda and UNIAN) ran source reports noting that the Security of Service of Ukraine was behind the operation. For the record, we cannot be fully certain that this was the case, but it is by far the most likely scenario.
  • Putin has called a meeting of his Security Council for later today. The aftermath of the meeting may shed light on any retaliation measures to be taken by Russia. The Kremlin's spokesman said the President will not be holding any bilateral meetings with Security Council members prior to that, including with Defence Minister Shoigu.

To read the full story



MNI is the leading provider

of intelligence and analysis on the Global Fixed Income, Foreign Exchange and Energy markets. We use an innovative combination of real-time analysis, deep fundamental research and journalism to provide unique and actionable insights for traders and investors. Our "All signal, no noise" approach drives an intelligence service that is succinct and timely, which is highly regarded by our time constrained client base.

Our Head Office is in London with offices in Chicago, Washington and Beijing, as well as an on the ground presence in other major financial centres across the world.