Russians flee Crimea after bridge strike

Thousands of residents and tourists are rushing to leave Crimea after traffic was halted on the Kerch Bridge, which was damaged in a suspected Ukrainian surface drone strike on Monday night.

While the authorities are assessing the timeframe for the bridge’s restoration and suggesting motorists use the ferry crossing, giant traffic jams are forming on the available exits from Crimea.

The jam of cars leaving Crimea in Melitopol direction in Kherson region annexed by Russia stretched for 5 kilometers, RIA Novosti reports. The traffic jam on the highway E-105 begins near the Sokolovskoye lake, about 20 km from the Chongar bridge. There are a lot of cars with license plates of Russian regions among those leaving, RIA correspondent reports. According to Google Maps, the size of the traffic jam exceeded 9 km as of 14:00 Moscow time.

According to the Nationwide Union of the hospitality industry, at the moment there are at least 50 thousand tourists on the peninsula and most of them entered by private cars.

Those who will be leaving Crimea through Zaporizhzhya region should keep in mind the restrictions in force in the region, including a curfew from 22:30 to 5:00, deputy chairman of the regional government for economy Andrii Kozenko told TASS. It will be possible to travel through the “DNR” to Crimea and back around the clock, the curfew will be temporarily lifted, the acting head of the occupation administration, Denys Pushilin, said.

The terms of the bridge restoration will be clear only closer to the evening, said Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, who was instructed by Vladimir Putin to organize restoration work at the site of the incident.

He specified that the railroad part of the bridge continues to work, and in the near future the ferry crossing will be launched. So far, however, the ferries are carrying only trucks, the Crimean Transport Ministry said.

According to the National Anti-Terrorist Committee (NAC), the Crimean bridge was attacked on Monday night by two Ukrainian surface drones. As a result, two residents of Belgorod region were killed and a child was injured.

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