Kerch Bridge Hit – TTG

The road side is collapsed, the rail side will collapse soon. 

This is the bridge that connects Russia with Crimea, and it’s the main way of resupply for the southern front. It’s also a symbol of Russian strength and annexation of Ukrainian territory. This is devastating to Russia, and on the day after Vladimir Putin’s birthday, it’s f’n perfect. 

So many questions, such as, does Ukraine have ATACMS—long-range rockets fired from HIMARS and MLRS launchers? Or is this some other wonder weapon we didn’t yet know existed? We’ll update as information comes in.

Comment: Damn! Several different photos and videos are out there from a number of sources. We’ll learn more in the morning. Happy freakin’ birthday, V.V.


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154 Responses to Kerch Bridge Hit – TTG

    • cobo says:

      The Drive is having a very good conversation about the cause: truck bomb, missile, undersea or above-water craft, planted charges… The comments include some thorough analysis. Although, it’s all still up in the air.

      • Racan says:

        Looking at the above slowed down footage I think the truck origin can be ruled out.

        • Pat Lang says:

          How? Why?

          • Racan says:

            Based on the bright flash appearing while the truck is still intact in the link above.

            But I retract my claim because CCTV footage can’t be used for such analysis due to the fact that it’s recorded at 30 frames per second at best and cannot capture such detail.

            So the clip I linked was probably altered by motion interpolation by which intermediate animation frames are generated between existing ones.

            A truck bomb remains the most likely explanation imo.

            Sorry for jumping the gun.

          • TTG says:


            We’re all still guessing with limited information, but some Ukrainian official saying it was the SBU with a truck bomb is one hell of an indicator.

            Of course even that government comment might just be part of the deception.

          • LeaNder says:

            “some Ukrainian official saying it was the SBU with a truck bomb is one hell of an indicator.”

            TTG, SBU? Ukrainian Special Operations? How? Hiring a suicidal Russian? Supposing the Ukraine does not have that many suicide bombers? Tricking a Russian? Promising him extra pay if he managed to transport the load to Krim, without telling him what it was exactly? Secretly manipulating the truck load in Russia without the drivers knowledge? It’s war, after all ?

            Funny, there seemed mirth in the ME post 9/11, now there is mirth in the West considering what might be classified as terrorist attack. At least in times of peace.

            How about a neutral Krim including the Eastern sections of the Ukraine? Impossible to even imagine? Why was a neutral Ukraine so impossible to even consider to start with?

          • Pat Lang says:

            Not a suicidal Russian, one who believes your lies.

          • LeaNder says:

            Not a suicidal Russian, one who believes your lies.

            Or simply someone hired for a job, without knowing what exactly it was about?

            Yalensis offers a lively scenario on his no doubt heavily pro-Russian blog:

            I know, life isn’t fair.

          • Pat Lang says:

            Hired for a job under false pretenses. Same thing.

  1. KjHeart says:

    Wow! Just wow! Any idea who destroyed this bridge? Anyone (specific) taking credit I mean?


  2. Poul says:

    Seems it was a truck bomb. Suicide attack or what?

  3. JamesT says:


    I would think that “navy SEALs” is the leading explanation.

  4. Mike B says:

    From video it appears to have been carried by a 2 ton closed body truck. Exploded just as it started climbing up the arch. Neatly done.

  5. Whitewall says:

    Okay. How did the people who blew up the Gasprom lines in the Baltic get to Crimea and do this so quickly? A rocket attack should have left behind a large field of debris and broken steel I would think. Anyone who can pull off such a slick severing such as this is pretty good at their job. In my part of the US it would be said that the bridge didn’t just blow up, it ‘blowed up’. A greater degree of seriousness.

    • Bill Roche says:

      WW your comment reminds us of the quaintness of local jargon. NY’rs would have said “we blew that MF’r up”. No doubt differences remain from colonial times eh? Col Lang permits all points of view and that’s good. I would like to remind those who have succumbed to the Stockholm Syndrome to remember that Ukraine, a sovereign state, d/n invade Russia. Russia invaded Ukraine and proceeded to destroy cities and kill people. At the least Russia has declared territory belonging to Ukraine as Russian. Stalin did this in Finland and Hitler did this in Czechoslovakia. Putin has said Ukrainians d/n exist and the area known as Ukraine is an administrative region of Russia and it will be absorbed into Russia. Some correspondents are confused over assailant and victim. For those inclined to see Ukraine as the terrorist it must be difficult to accept but the threat to Ukraine’s people, and world peace can be resolved by Putin ordering his armies to rtn to Russia. Think back to February 23rd. None of this had to happen.

      • Whitewall says:

        Bill, you are correct about regional differences and how old they are. Some are funny. Regional differences apply in other areas as well.

        Count me as very glad to see the Russian driven from the field, a field they don’t own. I saw some Russian handy work long ago in Prague, Czechoslovakia not long after the ’68 put down. Red Army officers could always be seen walking about town in pairs or threes and fours. The store fronts in the city still had dig outs from rounds fired to break up demonstrations. Shop owners were not allowed to fix these holes because they served as a reminder not to do it again.

        This bridge attack is exhilarating on one hand but potentially dangerous on the other. I read a new general is being brought in to up the ante against Ukraine. To me that will mean merciless artillery attacks against cities and infrastructure. The ‘Rus’ is not someone to take humiliation lightly. I hope for Ukraine.

        • Bill Roche says:

          WW; during “Prague Spring” I was finishing up my senior year at SUNY New Paltz. By the spring of ’69 I was on my way to V Corp in Fkt. In ’70 I pulled TDY in Helsinki. Plenty of Russian troops walked on Mannheimer Blvd (memory?). When the Finns saw them they turned their backs to them. The cold war had new meaning.
          IMHO there is no longer room for peace in Ukraine. Hostilities could have ended if Ukraine agreed to be Russia bitch but that possibility is gone. You’re right. The “bear’s” been humiliated by lesser Slavs. Unacceptable, b/c it defeats the notion of Russian superiority.
          The Ukrainians have beaten the Russian ground game. I too believe they will go up top. Lots of “long crosses, long shots high into the penalty area, and headers in front of the net”. In other words, as you say, merciless artillery attacks on civilian infra structure and bombing of cities, churches, housing etc. If Putin can not make the Ukrainians yield he will kill them. Russia cannot allow Ukrainians to exist in defiance of their “mother”.

        • LeaNder says:

          some Ukrainian official saying it was the SBU with a truck bomb is one hell of an indicator.

          The central problem. Has been going on for decades now on lower levels. All this had to happen?

          Your reference to Prague is interesting. It shaped my perception. On the other hand the two people that left after 1968 that reported about events to me and others both killed themselves. One after returning to Prague, the other shortly before turning 30.

          How will the Ukraine manage to re-educate all those misguided Russian Ukrainians in their country that are not fully in support of Western Culture? Once they won? Easy, since at that point Russia will once again be only a shadow of its former self?

        • Leith says:

          Whitewall –

          Prague yesterday:

          Apparently the Czechs have no more love for Putin than they did for Brezhnev way back when.

          • LeaNder says:

            I have mixed feelings concerning Mikhail Khodorkovsky, after all he didn’t take his money and run. …

            How long you feel it will take till he gets his empire back?

            But are there golden toilet’s in Putin’s palace near Gelendzhik, Krasnodar Krai? Everyone love gold? Strange, not me.

  6. Fourth and Long says:

    The frizbees. They know better than anyone how f’d they are under his nibs and want the bastard crooks gone yesterday. If the commenter Mike B is right about a truck, I’m even more convinced. Not suicide suicide. A dupe and timer or remote. I guess the West could have done it too. But would have needed assistance of people in Russian Federation. They have never been short on traitors.

    • Pat Lang says:

      This kinda does look like a massive truck bomb. Well, we said that somebody should “go for” this bridge.

      • Mike B says:

        Reviewing the video more closely you can see that the truck explodes exactly opposite the stationary tank cars on the train track. Initially I thought the point of detonation was done to maximize structural damage to the bridge but now the blast pattern is significantly greater on the side towards the tank cars.
        The organization/execution of this birthday gift to Putin was brilliant

  7. Barbara Ann says:

    “And, you know, we’re trying to figure out: What — what is Putin’s off-ramp? Where — where does he get off? Where does he find a way out? Where does he find himself in a position that he does not not only lose face, but lose significant power within Russia?” – Biden on Thursday

    Well, there’s your off-ramp right there, sitting in the Kerch Strait.

    Might the timing have more to do with the buildup of forces in Zaporizhzhia for a counteroffensive towards Melitopol?

    • Bill Roche says:

      I d/n know the Kerch Strait Bridge existed until a few months ago. Some one in the Ukrainian military must have said “that bridge has got to go”. Wow, Russia’s only way into Crimea from the south has been blown? The method is interesting but the result more so. Crimea can still be supplied through Ukraine but the UM is moving south-east. Is the take out of the bridge a prelude to opening a Crimean front? The UM has the balls, but do they have the troops? I never imagined Ukraine taking back Crimea (nor Putin’s reaction). The shit’s really hitting the fan.

  8. morongobill says:

    I always expected a missile attack or Himars, an oldfashioned truck bomb- that blows my mind.

    Got to admit, this is a huge morale booster for Ukraine, and a massive blow to Russia. As I wrote over at MOA this war will be settled via one side whipping the as- of the other.

    It ain’t over till its over.

    • blue peacock says:

      MoA. The perennially anti-American blog, where advocacy masquerades as analysis. b keeps twisting himself in pretzels with even more ludicrous excuses for his hero Putin’s failure on the battlefield.

      Col. Lang & TTG’s analysis led them to the possibility of the Russian army reaching their culminating point. b, Larry Johnson, et al couched their advocacy of Putin’s war as analysis. But of course they are just salesmen selling a product that their anti-American audience demands.

      What that crowd doesn’t want to get is that despite all its flaws and fuck-ups the USA remains top dog both economically & militarily.

      • morongobill says:

        Of course you are ably giving your opinions and reasoning, but I take issue with your last statement, which seems to be mere bravado.

        • blue peacock says:

          Reality. As Warren Buffet & Charlie Munger have said numerous times – never sell America short!

          Why aren’t we seeing the communist toadies moving en masse to Putin’s & Xi’s utopia? Clearly those who have direct experience of the communist paradise are trying to get out whenever they can. How much wealth have the CCP apparatchiks & Putin’s kleptocrats moved to the west?

          • walrus says:

            Err, Peacock, the ruling Russians and their followers aren’t Communists. What’s left of the communists is a relatively small political party that has 50-something seats in a 450 seat parliament. Putin got 72% of the vote, communists only got 19%.

          • Fourth and Long says:

            Because we’ve become a nation as accepting to communism or moreso than the Soviet Union or Red China ever was. Even Stalin and Mao never went so far as 367 cops looking on while 18 children were knowingly gunned down by a psycho. Or made it a people’s right to have provided for them gender changing operations and medicinations for the parents whose children are brainwashed into gender multiphorphism hysterias of epidemic proportions — by teachers paid for by those same taxpayer dollars.
            It makes us into a rootless nation lacking progeny to branch out and ongoingly nourish the ideas of the founding fathers and further perfect our constitutional republic, still in its infancy. They want to kill us off. And that’s why wolves in sheep’s clothing will be always be attracted to us and not much more ancient nations and peoples whose traditions are so long enduring and practiced as to be ineradicable. If we as a nation intend to endure, we must not only make these things known in or on every town, hamlet, hillside, valley and throughout every metropolis, but in every corridor of power or commerce in business and affairs – but in ourselves. That is a challenging task. One way, a tried and true way, to see how meritoriously we tack on is to go to the grocery store, look around at what’s on sale and consider the price of eggs. And look at the shopping list your kids, wife or roommate wrote down for you. Then take out your 4g cell phone and type in the address bar; What is Soy Milk?

        • LeaNder says:

          Because we’ve become a nation as accepting to communism or moreso than the Soviet Union or Red China ever was.
          oh, dear. As learned on this blog?

          • cobo says:


            Always re re re read Fourth and Long. If you’re sure you get it, and you don’t care, that doesn’t come from this blog. That’s you. If you’re here in America, taken a look out your window recently?

      • borko says:


        where is the line between being a salesman/peddler of propaganda and a foreign agent ?

      • Stadist says:

        Same with NakedCapitalism.

        Just read what they wrote yesterday regarding the Kerch bridge attack:

        “For the most part, Russia has steered clear of destroying dual-use (civilian and military) infrastructure. Looks like the time has come for Russia to take out most if not all of electrical grid and cell phones in Western Ukraine (its earlier strike on the grid deliberately hit parts that could be restored quickly). Lambert remarked that this was totally Ukraine: It would have been more strategically effective to have been done three weeks ago. Russia has already fortified Kherson and moved many of the partially mobilized men into Southern Ukraine for training. And they didn’t even do this on Putin’s birthday. This is a day late. But oh the dramatic photos!”

        They have been wishful of Russia taking out Ukrainian electric grid for months now, all the while portraying the russian inaction as some sort of humane measure. More likely explanation is Russia just simply lacks the precision & munition to conduct this sort of ‘strategic’ strike. Can’t expect any logic from Yves or Lambert of NakedCapitalism, it got flushed down the toilet after they went full throttle cheerleading russians attacking Ukraine. I still chuckle about them going orgasmic with fantasies of the Donbas cauldrons, and russian performance in general.

  9. TTG says:


    I’m not convinced it was a truck bomb or something targeting the bridge abutment-span joint from underneath, but I’m fairly certain of one fact, Putin’s bridge was not built to the same solid standard of Soviet era bridges. I’m not sure the remaining road and rail spans survived with just cosmetic damage.

    • Barbara Ann says:


      Footage of the damage shows 2 consecutive spans down where the truck (bomb?) was but also a third down with what looks to me like 2 intact spans between there and the 2 destroyed ones. You can just about see it in that photo but there is better footage here. Hard to see how a single blast could do that.

      • TTG says:

        Barbara Ann,

        Some more good footage from a CCTV probably on the rail bridge.

        Looks like the 18 wheeler to me or that poor SOB was in the wrong place at the wrong time. What appears to be a second explosion is probably the rail cars igniting. Still, the damage to all those spans is surprising. Leads me to think that the entire bridge is an accident waiting to happen due to truly substandard construction. I wouldn’t want to be on the next train that tries to go over the bridge.

        • Pat Lang says:

          I have been thinking abt the approach plan with the asset. I would represent this as a criminal enterprise of some sort designed to support a black-market operation. The payload would go under the “disguise” cargo. Then you would give the poor bastard a lot of money and promise him even more when he returns with the truck.

          • TTG says:


            One of our old CIA instructors at the farm used a similar approach with one of his assets in Viet Nam. Told him to take his pack animal to a certain location, trip a switch on the saddle to begin recording for certain length of time, switch it off and return. The switch triggered an explosion in the pack saddle. Ingenious, but we still thought he was one cold hearted SOB. As you often say, heart hearted empaths.

            We figured the same thing would happen with the SADM. We figured the generals and the suits would not contemplate leaving an unattended SADM on target and it would go off as soon as it was armed. I was amazed my buddies were still willing to do the mission. Of course it was assumed that we would all probably be dead within 60 days of insertion into Eastern Europe. The Reserve and NG SF units were to come in after us.

          • Pat Lang says:

            Yes, my team decided that if we ever did the SADM thing against a live target we would have a local guerrilla arm it while we stood back at a respectful distance. At one point in VN the local CIA claimed that I sent one of their Montagnard assets who had kicked his pregnant wife in the belly out to a spot in the woods for a surprise rendezvous with a B-52 cell. The Christians In Action had asked me to help her as she was bleeding badly. She had died at a US Army field hospital after I had her flown there. What a fanciful idea on the CIA’s part and what a clever way to try to get rid of a dangerous “rival.” They couldn’t make the accusation stick.

        • Barbara Ann says:

          Thanks. Actually I guess it may be possible the other span’s collapse was caused by the same blast. The roadway/deck is a single long ‘ribbon’ which can move longitudinally on bearings – to allow for heat expansion. You’d expect it to fail at the weak points – e.g. expansion joints. In this case the fact that the span where the bomb went off also caused the adjacent one to collapse looks to have been caused by the collapsing span dragging the next one forward until the deck failed over the next-but-one pier. You can see the deck remains a single structure now leaning off the pier between the 2 collapsed spans. Maybe the same happened in the other direction, only in this direction the weak point was several piers back, not one. If I’d designed a bridge which was always going to have a big “bomb me” target painted on it I’d have ensured it would fail at each pier, so any blast could only drop one span, not 3. Oh well.

          • Fred says:

            Barbara Ann,

            So three pre-fab spans need to be replaced after inspection of the pier at each end. Hardly a crippling blow on something that is miles long. What is surprising is all the civilian controlled tanker (and other truck) traffic crossing there. I suspect that will change, with only authorized drivers and trucks crossing, resulting in a bottleneck on each end of the bridge for some time.

          • Pat Lang says:

            They will hit it again somehow.

          • Barbara Ann says:


            “Hardly a crippling blow on something that is miles long”

            This is an example of what I call the “Martyanov Mindset”. Andrei has taken to explaining why the bridge is hard to destroy because it is a “linear target”. Sure it make the whole bridge hard to destroy, but that kinda misses the whole essence of how bridges work and what is required to make them not work.

          • borko says:

            Barbara Ann

            Martyanov is but on in a long list of peddlers Russian propaganda.
            They are all coming up with absurd ways in trying to brush this incident off as something inconsequential.

            You should check Larry Johnson’s blog.
            The headline regarding this incident is literally:

            “Ukrainian attack on Kerch bridge in the Crimea not going as planned – Wile E Coyote Lives”

            Not going as planned ? Really ?

            The text under the headline is difficult to digest, yet they all have a faithful (fanatical ?) audience that is ready to believe anything these clowns come up with. Fascinating.

            Or maybe they are not clowns but shrewd salesmen as someone here suggested.

          • Fred says:

            Barbara Ann,

            I don’t read Andrei’s stuff. Maybe the engineering is that the whole thing had a harmonic vibration damaing joints in the more, or all, of the structure. Don’t know about that. The colonel is right, it will get hit again. Unless there is some structural issue it may get repaired, or not. Meanwhile the war goes on and Russians continue to underwhelm in combat operations.

      • Mike B says:

        I have seen comments to the effect that the Kerch bridge has extremely poor foundations, basically mud. Explosion/shock on one span causes movement in adjacent spans. If the spans are only weakly anchored to their pillars then they can just drop off and down.

    • Pat Lang says:

      Some clown here suggested US Navy SEALS. Wow! “Up from the sea with nitroglycerine …” (theme music from “Guns of Navarone”) Just for a moment imagine the USG being willing to risk capture of one or more Superfrogmen. Then visualize the op: half a dozen guys locked out of a submerged sub. They have a raft loaded with explosives. They surface under the bridge and scale to the roadway dragging all this with them. Then they hook it up to this massive structure reminiscent of the Oakland Bay Bridge. BOOM! As you know. it takes a lot of stuff to make a dent on a bridge this big. Well USMC has lived on the impression made by “Sands of Iwo Jima.” The SEALs are living on the rep built by various crummy movies. My approach to this would have been to try to recruit some Russian on the Kerch side to drive an 18-wheeler equivalent to Crimea swearing on my sainted mother’s grave if necessary that all would be well, and then – BOOM!

      • JamesT says:


        You are giving me flashbacks of the time in University when I had not properly prepared for a class and dared to waste the class’s time with a poorly thought out contribution. The prof made me pay dearly – but I did not make that mistake again!

        The quality of discussion in that class was very high. Not unlike here.

      • walrus says:

        If it was SEALS they would have taken out a few piers underwater, not the roadway.

      • borko says:


        how do you reconcile what you do (and did) with being a Christian ?
        If the question is too personal I apologize in advance.

        • Pat Lang says:

          I believe in the Natural Law and in the existence of Just Wars against evil.

          • cobo says:

            Antigone ?? Not whether this is the correct reference, but this is important. It is why young men become warriors instead of bandits. In war, all is fair. Lying is fair, but as you’ve remarked, only in so far as furthering the aims of the war. How to understand virtue when it can be so easily twisted in words. This is also why so many young men follow the work of Jordan Peterson.

  10. When you look at that vast expanse of the Black Sea to the south it appears much easier to attack by water than by land.

  11. blue peacock says:


    IMO, this is the kind of high visibility sabotage that would cause significant psychological damage to the Russian military. They must be thinking if Ukrainian forces can conduct such operations “deep” in Crimea, what else are they capable of? I recall a month or so ago as the Ukrainians were bombing fuel & ammo depots in Crimea, the long lines of Russians high-tailing across the bridge back to Russia. At that time there were reports of senior Russian military officers sending their families back.

    If the Ukrainian army captures the dam at Nova Khakova they get closer to shutting off water supplies to Crimea. The military question that comes up is that the Ukrainian army is conducting counter-offensive operations north to south – how many soldiers have they committed to this offensive and how many do they have in reserves?

    • Bill Roche says:

      When, not if, the UM takes Kherson there will be 265 miles to Sevastopol, about a 5 hour drive (unmolested that is). The UM seems pretty consistent in its approach to fighting … cut off supply, isolate the enemy, patiently prepare your OB, then kill them. But do they have enough soldiers?
      Russia’s ground game has faltered. My guess is Putin will go “up top” to massive bombing of all Ukrainian cities. The UN and European news papers w/b filled with horrible pictures of dead children, destroyed ancient Orthodox Churches, and rubble. This will test Ukrainian air defense and interdiction. Slovaks and Poles will demand jets to Ukraine, and the US w/b pulled along into the vortex. Where from there???
      The Ukies ain’t blinking. God bless them.

    • LeaNder says:

      Interesting, Poul. No cyber crime but some kind of techie insider with knowledge down to central cables? 😉

      • Pat Lang says:


        Who? What?

        • LeaNder says:

          Sorry, didn’t notice. Two central cables were cut. Important cables enabling communications with the train-drivers. If we are told all, investigations? If I got the message right.

    • walrus says:

      Copper thieves? Happens regularly in Australia.

      • Fred says:


        Here too, it gets worse as the economy tanks too.

      • LeaNder says:

        Walrus, you seem to respond to Poul’s article.

        Again, to the extent we are informed. Copper thieves that operate in two places one East, one West, with one cable being maybe a support cable in case the other stops operating?

        I am pleased I wasn’t caught in the resulting train station chaos.

        And no, I wouldn’t want to connect it arbitrarily with the Russian-Ukraine war, as Poul may do. Irony alert: Could be Americans too, that feel we have to completely privatize our train system. Which then would run more efficiently on time, but with a high percentage of people having to shift to the German equivalent of Greyhound.

        • Pat Lang says:

          “I wouldn’t want to connect it arbitrarily with the Russian-Ukraine war” Why not? An industrial accident?

      • Poul says:

        Not copper thieves.
        It was two radio link cables 400 kilometres apart which were cut almost at the same time. So someone wanted to make a statement.

  12. Leith says:

    I don’t believe it was a truck bomb either. Initial Russian media reports said a it was an explosion of a rail tank car carrying petrol. They later changed and claimed truck bomb.

    If the blast started on the rail line it could be Ukr sabotage. Although the Ukr Air Force has been hinting that it might have played in this game also. Or it could be Ru incompetence in the safe handling of petrol tankers. But I’m initially thinking it was sabotage based on a statement made a month ago by Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense : “The weather forecast says it is going to be very hot in Crimea. It’s time for the rus invaders to prepare for a swim. It takes a lot of strength to swim to Sochi or Yeysk.” Hat tip to @booksnwine for that reminder.

    If it was sabotage then my guess it was elite Spetznaz operators from Special Group Alpha that work directly for the SBU. By the way, the Director of the SBU was sacked in July for underperformance, the new guy they put in, Vasyl Malyuk, is younger just 39.
    It was good IMO that it happened on the Ukrainian side of the Kerch Strait.

    If it was the Ukr AF, it would have had to have been an extremely long distance shot. It is not clear to me that they have that capability. But maybe we or any other NATO country might have supplied them with a long range air to surface PGM.

    • Sam says:


      The videos linked on this thread show the explosion directly on the road span and the rail bridge remains intact although the tank cars have sustained damage.

      It will be fascinating what this does to Russian logistics to Crimea? I suppose they now have to inspect all truck & train loads prior to access to the remaining spans.

      • Leith says:

        Sam –

        You seem to be right. It’s hard to dispute the videos. But I have to wonder how were the perpetrators able to sync up the timing of the explosion on the road span with the passage of the trainload of tanker cars? Coincidence does not feel right. Any ideas?

        • TTG says:


          Train schedules, penetration of the dispatch office or hacking of the digital tracking system.

          • Fred says:

            Next op plant the bomb(s) in the tanker car and time it for the next refueling back in mother Russia. Take out the refinery/storage yard. Shouldn’t be that hard to co-ordinate.

          • Leith says:

            Ukraine I believe has better hackers than Putin does.

          • Racan says:


            “Ukraine I believe has better hackers than Putin does.”

            The brightest Russian hackers are also smart enough to flee Putin’s Russia

        • Sam says:


          Maybe the idea was to have the tank cars also explode? These folks appear to have had good intelligence on the tank car movement. Could it be another Russian faction piling on, further weakening Putin’s position?

        • walrus says:

          Mobile phone, simple.

        • cobo says:

          At the conversation on The Drive that I linked above, the discussion about the train cars included the possibility that the train was regularly scheduled to stop there, or perhaps was caught stopped, since a moving train would have taken the fire down track instead of remaining in place at the blast site.

  13. Sam says:

    Only 3 months ago, Russian propaganda was claiming that the Crimea bridge was impossible to attack because of 20 different modes of protection covering it, including military dolphins (#17)… What a colossal failure

    Ok. Dolphins? Could the attack on the Kerch bridge been an internal Russian faction piling on to Putin’s current weakness?

    The Ukrainian forces it appears are making their intentions clear that Crimea will also be contested. I wonder what the weak spots of the Ukrainian offensive are likely to be that the Russian army would try to exploit when their newly mobilized conscripts hit the frontline? Putin must be under tremendous pressure to retaliate and demonstrate wins on the battlefield as the Ukrainian army gets bolder.

    • blue peacock says:

      A mysterious ‘wave’ which appeared under the bridge between Russia and occupied Crimea moments before it was blown up has fuelled speculation that Ukrainian special services used a boat or explosive-laden drone to launch an attack that has damaged Putin’s supply lines.

      Moscow furiously claimed a truck bomb caused the blast which killed at least three people but did not apportion blame – while the speaker of Crimea’s Kremlin-backed regional parliament accused Kyiv of being behind the explosion which took place early this morning, just hours after Putin’s 70th birthday.

      Dramatic new footage shows the blast rocking the Kerch Bridge and causing its partial collapse, in yet another humiliation for Moscow as its forces retreat from occupied southern and eastern Ukraine amid a sweeping counter-offensive by Volodymyr Zelensky’s troops. The Kremlin had claimed the bridge, which was opened personally Putin in 2018 to much fanfare in Russian-state media, was being protected by a maximum security operation which even included attack dolphins.


      It is unlikely we’ll know whodunnit. In the meantime sleuths will have a field day trying to figure it out. In any case it demonstrates weakness in the much vaunted security operation of the bridge, similar to the much vaunted “super power” class Russian military. Will Putin be able to turnaround his special military operation to decapitate Kyiv and effect regime change in Ukraine in a timely fashion? It appears the denouement may be some ways away. Russia with its much larger population have many more people to expend.

      • Leith says:

        Blue Peacock –

        I like that mysterious wave speculation. But to be honest I cannot see any wave or anything like it in the video and images posted in that Daily Mail article. Interesting though because Chuck Pfarrer’s twitter site also seems to think the blast came from below the roadway. Probably much too early to know for sure what happened.

        • Barbara Ann says:


          The reason you can’t see a mysterious wave is because there isn’t one, except maybe in the briefings of the 77th Brigade who probably contributed to that article for the Daily Mail.

          It wasn’t a missile, it wasn’t a hijacked Iranian drone, it wasn’t Casey Ryback shinnying up the bridge pier from the back of a trained war dolphin, it was just a big-assed truck bomb. All the other theories are just BS, including whatever Chuck Pfarrer’s Twitter account wants you to think. KISS – works every time.

          • Leith says:

            Barbara Ann –

            I expect you are right. But I still want to see that big assed truck bomb go boom in super slow-mo. Alas, I doubt software change that truck video to 960fps.

    • mcohen says:

      Iranian drone was hacked to attack the bridge.weak link.
      The 4 k
      Thought I would add kaliningrad but that’s in russia

    • KjHeart says:

      Have any of you seen the new UKR Post Stamp unveiled for this occasion?

      This will be behind a paywall but should be able to see the stamp art (if not the article)

      I share this because it speaks to a timeline of planning – ie: how long planned. I knew an artist whose work was chosen for stamp art in the USA and it was a full year from being chosen to the art being showcased and another two months before printed… just a thought Ukraine was preparing for a possible invasion for quite a while –

      • mcohen says:

        Well that is interesting.can only mean one thing.The russians are not welcome anymore in crimea.

  14. Fourth and Long says:

    Left fielders department.
    But I don’t know which way the truck was going. R to C or C to R?

    Security guy gets call a truck with a huge bomb is on its way to C from R to destroy an airfield, hospital, meeting with Vips what have you. Variantions include: dirty b; chem b; bio and worse.
    No time. Security guy dispatches a very fast car with its own device which overtakes the truck in the middle of the bridge saving tons of lives.

    Yes I get that it’s mental. Just an attempt to think outside the box with the idea that you smarter more knowledgeable people might see something that the news, which can be intentionally misleading, is throwing you off of with a curve ball.

    • Pat Lang says:

      Doesn’t really matter which way the truck was going or if they loaded up the train. The principal is the same and you have to lie to the guy to get him to do it. Line of duty stuff. I used to tell my case officers that it is your duty to lie to make our machinations work but if I catch you lying to me or in US documents, I will break you like a stick.

  15. Deap says:

    Assumed Crimea’s main value to Russia was a warm water sea port; not necessarily a land bridge.

    Shall we soon see Sevastopol Boat Lifts to succor the local Russian population, not unlike the Berlin Air Lifts when the sole land bridge was also cut off?

  16. Lars says:

    A large part of the rest of that bridge is now structurally suspect. Vibrations are very damaging to concrete and I expect those blasts have created plenty. But the damage could be even worse psychologically for Russia, especially for those in Crimea.

  17. Yes, we see bad things “mysteriously” happening to Russian infrastructure in various locations.

    There are three sayings people planning such things,
    and people who refrain from decrying such events,
    should remember:

    “Chickens coming home to roost.”
    “What goes around comes around.”
    “Opening Pandora’s box.”

  18. Leith says:

    Media associated with the Wagner merc group is claiming that Shoigu and Gerasimov have been canned because of the Kerch bridge attack.

    True or not I have no clue. But there have been Ukrainian reports of a shake-up in Moscow with arrests of some RU military officers by the FSB and National Guard. No telling whether that is due to hard intel or an attempt by Ukraine to play games inside the head of Russian occupation troops.

    Here are some bios of potential replacements. Dyumin for Minister of Defense:

    And Matovnikov for Chief of the General Staff:

    Both seem to have more experience in the FSB than in the Russian military. Although Dyumin did serve in the GRU as deputy chief of special forces. Matovnikov did participate in the war in Afghanistan and Chechnya, but more in an FSB antiterrorist role than with the army.

  19. MJ says:

    A farthing analysis: Wasn’t a truck bomb. Boat Bomb. From the video explosion comes up and over the road bridge. Post damage photos appearance looks like road heaved upward to break and then down. Much like the way torpedoes work.

    • Mike B says:

      Blast wave shown on video does not support “under the bridge” scenario. And highly unlikely that the tank cars on the higher railway tracks would be damaged.
      My original suggestion of a few months ago was to place the bomb on the train.

    • TTG says:


      I still think a boat bomb is a real possibility. A week or two ago Russia pulled a 12 foot sea drone out of the water near Sevastopol that appeared to be for surveillance or a bomb. I think that would be far too small for the observed blast at Kerch. It would have to be something more like those drug running semi-submersibles we catch in the Gulf. Of course a boat bomb would mean that Russian defenses of the bridge are absolute shit. No protective nets and booms. No radar or visual surveillance. If it was a truck why wasn’t it caught by inspection prior to crossing the bridge. This bridge was supposed to be the most fiercely guarded piece of infrastructure in Russia.

      • Mike B says:

        What is the difference between a house of cards and a proper geodesic dome? The former merely looks impressive but none of the connections actually work. Moscow can order vehicle inspections but if the inspectors do not believe then Moscow has only a house of cards.

        • TTG says:

          Mike B,

          Yes, it’s much like the previously admired and feared mighty Russian military machine. It’s all eaten through by corruption like a wooden hull is eaten through by toredo worms.

  20. Sam says:

    This is not our fight. It’s an ancient ethnic rivalry on the other side of the world.

    There’s no “good guy” in this battle, and we thankfully have no national interest. Our only priority should be de-escalation.

    America First.

    When we give @Ukraine the support it needs to win the war, it serves to strongly deter other nuclear blackmailers in their territorial aggressions. Helping @Ukraine does not increase the probability of nuclear war, it reduces the risk of future nuclear conflagrations.

    I get both these viewpoints. And I sympathize with both. The invasion of Ukraine shows the complexity of the situation. It is not black & white. There are no ideologically pure responses. How can one be a non-interventionist yet not reward aggression & blackmail? There can be no doubt that many parts of the world want US interventionism. Their safety & sovereignty depends on it. Threading this needle is challenging under the best of circumstances.

  21. cobo says:

    I’ve recently read the post from a commenter I like and admire, that this war is the war that he and his veteran friends always wanted to serve in, a just war. A war where there is right and wrong, black and white. The Russian here, this time, is a criminal.

  22. mcohen says:

    Well that is interesting.can only mean one thing.The russians are not welcome anymore in crimea.

  23. Deap says:

    Likely Ukrainian terrorism blew up the bridge, which puts Ukrainians back into the mix as suspects blowing up the Nordstrom pipeline.

    All paid for by Biden’ handing out billions of our tax dollars for advanced munitions?

    • Pat Lang says:

      What the hell is the matter with you that you call this “terrorism?” The Ukraine is fighting a legitimate war against Russia and the bridge is a valid military target.

    • Deap says:

      Then again, blowing up the bridge would prevent a Ukrainian land invasion into the Crimea. So maybe it was the Russki’s blowing up their infrastructure……again? To add to the infrastructure carnage, who just cut off the power to Ukraine’s nuclear power plant forcing it into emergency generator mode.

      I am reminded of a Pacific Northwest potlatch – let me burn up this huge pile of my own possessions before you my enemy, just to show you how powerful I am. Bottom line, someone is doing something to someone.

      Isn’t it odd we still do not know who, even though we can easily see why. Or think we do. I still have a hard time moving from Hilary Clinton’s 2014 coup, to the betrayal of the Minsk Accords, and on to any clear cut one-party blame for an invasion.

      Learning in my book “The Tower of Basel”, during WWII the Bank for International Settlement central bankers were already carefully agreeing not to destroy German infrastructure in order to preserve it for post-war re-industrialization, esp that owned by I.G. Farben, while we in the middle of scaling the cliffs of Normandy still trying to “win” the war, let alone carving up the remains of post-war Germany.

      Sobering to learn well after the fact, not just the generals on the ground were making the strategic wartime decisions.

      Who off stage could also be manipulating this current war …theater …… Unfortunately, there are too many life-like dead bodies scattered all across both sides. Just stop already.

      • TTG says:


        How would blowing the bridge prevent a Ukrainian invasion of Crimea? Do you think the Russians fear a Ukrainian end run through Russia and into Crimea through Kerch? If Russians did it, it would be evidence of an extremely serious internal power struggle, maybe the security/police services versus the military.

        The potlatch is a method to periodically redistribute wealth throughout the community. Goods of real value are given away. Only symbolic goods are destroyed. It has noting to do with one’s enemies. It is purely a social mechanism within communities. At leasy you’re right about the power and prestige.

        • Al says:

          TGG, you beat me to correcting Deap on the cultural dynamics of the NW potlatch. As I also learned about in my cultural anthro major.

      • cobo says:


        Have you read “World’s End” by Upton Sinclair, first published in 1940, after World War II had begun in Europe the previous year, the story covers the period from 1913 to 1919, before and after World War I ( In WWI, in France, for as bad as it was, the Krupp factories were never hit. It is the longest novel ever written. There are many books in it. I haven’t yet finished it. But, it does a nice job of making sense of WWI, if that could ever be done. Upton Sinclair is a deep, deep character. I can’t say I’m all with him, but he writes very, very well.

  24. Sam says:

    Only what Putin wants you to hear and who he wants to blame. It doesn’t really matter at all. At the end of the day the “super security” of the bridge failed. Ukraine has previously bombed ammo and fuel storage sites in Crimea. So none of this should be surprising.

    The war continues. Currently Ukraine has the initiative on the battlefield. They are on the offensive and the Russian army is trying to get a footing to stabilize their positions. Putin is attempting to change that with his mobilization of conscripts. We’ll find out soon enough how that goes. The war ain’t ending anytime soon as neither side is exhausted.

  25. Sam says:

    It is too early to ascertain the method of attack and the range of implications of this attack on the Kerch Bridge. It is certainly a punch in the face for Putin on his birthday. A couple of thoughts however in this short (for me) thread. First dropping a bridge span like this would take a lot of ‘bang’ (explosives) and good demolition design. As a sapper, we plan these kind of things all the time. The hardest bridges to drop are reinforced concrete like this. The amount of explosive required would be more than a few SF personnel could carry. A few trucks, or missiles / bombs would do the trick, if aimed at the right points of the bridge span. Second, the Ukrainians so far have been excellent at operational design and shaping operations in advance of their advances. This could be part of their design for taking back Crimea in the short term – or part of a deception operation to distract from other areas. Either way, it presents the Russians with a significant problem. It doesn’t stop resupply to Crimea (there are boats and the route through Melitopol), but it makes holding Melitopol even more important for the Russians. This would be the point in a class that the instructor would ask “so, what do we think the next operational objective for the Ukrainians might be?” Because of this, we may see Russian redeployments in the south, which will unveil other weaknesses & opportunities for #Ukraine. A third and final point: this is a massive influence operation win for Ukraine. Even if they didn’t do it, it is a demonstration to Russians, and the rest of the world, that Russia’s military cannot protect any of the provinces it recently annexed. And if we were impressed by the outflow of Russians after the recent naval aviation base attack, the rush to leave Crimea will be probably be even greater now. Lack of confidence in Putin and his military will grow.

    The psychological pressure by the Ukrainian military should not be underestimated. They sunk the flagship of the Black Sea fleet. They launched a counter-offensive in Kharkiv and collapsed the Russian military’s frontline all the way back across the Russian border in the north. They are squeezing 25k Russian soldiers west of the Dnieper in Kherson. They’ve destroyed ammo & fuel storage in Crimea that caused many to flee already. Now they take out a span of a supposedly secure bridge to the Russian mainland from Crimea. This is ratcheting up the psychological pressure. Imagine if you’re a Russian military commander in Kherson and Crimea, concerned about the reliability of your supply lines?

    • Fred says:


      True, though two questions come to mind. Do those particular Russian troops have 6 days worth of supplies or sixty? What do they do all day, sit in trenches and bunkers tossing pebbles at each other, when then aren’t busy giving their position away by surfing the internet on cell phones? Is any local patrolling and raiding of the Ukrainian positions happening? We sure don’t hear about it from the usual sources. Seems like pretty crappy leadership by the Russians, or 58th dimensional ‘strateregy’.

      • Leith says:

        Fred –

        Some are too busy begging vodka from the locals to be bothered with patrolling. Or stealing food & washing machines.

      • Sam says:


        I have no expertise in these matters. However, my speculation is the Russian army will be actively patrolling their frontlines. They would be foolish to just sit around in their bunkers. I further speculate that at least in the Kherson front they are well stocked. What I’ve read is that they may not have sufficient fuel to mount many offensives against the Ukrainian army probing their defenses. They do have a large number of soldiers so if the Ukrainians falter they could possibly take advantage. The question on that front is how both sides fare over the winter?

  26. mcohen says:

    When summer turns to fall
    Come the winter rain
    The eagle will call
    To the folded crane
    Wait for me at waters edge
    We shall meet again.

  27. Mike B says:

    Given the strategic importance of the bridge I doubt that the Ukrainians left the target undamaged for so long merely to coincide with Putin’s birthday. Something has changed. Two strands: technology and human.
    Technology is always capable of upgrades that suddenly bring the bridge into range.
    But if it was technology you would think that the railway would have been hit as well as the roadway and not necessarily in the same location.
    Human? Previous security on the bridge was effective but recently the security has recently turned to complete crap?
    Heavy load of plain HE with GPS trigger?

    • TTG says:

      Mike B,

      Human operations take time to set up. This appears to have been a complex clandestine human operation.

  28. TTG says:


    Found some new analysis and photos by yet another OSINT analyst that supports the witting or unwitting truck bomber theory. Photos show no blast damage or scorching on the underside of the collapsed spans. Scorching is only on the roadway surface.

    The truck driver was 51 year old Mahir Yusobov who called his wife before crossing to Crimea. From the time he called it was only a 30 minute trip. However, he did not cross until 6 hours later. He apparently picked up the trailer some time before that. The owner of the truck and nephew of the driver already came out on social media denying any involvement. There’s also this from the NYT.

    “A senior Ukrainian official told @nytimes that the SBU orchestrated the attack and that it involved a bomb loaded onto a truck. They didn’t specify whether the driver, who appeared to have been died, was aware there were explosives inside. ”

    If all this is so, it does appear that the SBU has Russia wired up tight. All those mysterious fires and explosions that occurred throughout Russia for the last six months may be attributable to SBU activity. Putin and his boys are in for a real winter of discontent.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      I agree with your last paragraph. However this tweet by a Toby-B speculates that the SBU leaked the truck story to establish a desired narrative, because he thinks a charge carried by a vehicle would have had to have been prohibitively large to snap the span in the photographs. He suspects device or devices under the pylons. See his remaining 2 tweets on his thread for more. Text of tweet follows.
      A truck bomb would have to detonate in the centre of a span to snap it, it would also require a huge charge, as there is nothing to push against. You would also see blast damage on the upper deck surface. None is visible in the images. 1/3

      • Mike B says:

        umm, shape charges can cut through steel/concrete without having anything to “push against.” The shock wave alone is enough to fracture/collapse a poorly designed and built span.
        The 3/3 photo shows the end of the span away from the blast.
        In all the photos so far the pylons are still standing.

      • borko says:


        Maybe it was a shaped charge of some sort that would direct the blast downwards. We are not seeing the relevant part of the roadway because it is submerged, but it appears to have been cut in half, and there are no pylons under the affected area.

        The train above looks like it caught a part of the blast as it was passing by and continued to move a bit more forward.

      • Barbara Ann says:


        Strange, the Russian authorities are ‘leaking’ the story about a truck bomb too, maybe they are in cahoots with the SBU.

        An 18 wheeler packed with explosives is not enough? That thing could have been carrying over 20 tons of HE. McVeigh’s home made ANFO bomb was an order of magnitude smaller than this. The ’83 Beirut truck bomb was around 10 tons of TNT-equivalent (wiki).

        • Leith says:

          The Beirut Barracks bombs were enhanced with compressed butane tanks making it a primitive FAE. That beefed it up to a 10 ton equivalence. Estimates at the time opined that the PETN explosive material only weighed maybe one quarter to one third of the 21000 pounds noted.

          Khobar towers used a similar FAE bomb, using plastique and petrol giving it a fourfold increase in explosive power.

      • Leith says:

        F&L –

        I agree that the SBU leak may be deception. But that does not mean Major Grubert’s other speculations are correct.
        1] As TTG mentions there are obvious scorch marks on top of the roadway but not underneath.
        2] Of the three dropped spans the one with the most severe scorching was snapped in the center or close to it.
        3] Oklahoma City bombing was done with a medium duty truck with just a one and a half ton capacity. So if in fact it was a truck bomb, your Major Grubert is not aware of the explosive effects of ANFO (fertilizer mixed with fuel oil), or of other types of explosive material such as FAE (thermobarics)? It is not our grandfather’s dynamite anymore used in bombings.

        I have suspicions also. Why target the roadway? The rail bridge would be a higher priority target. Did they believe a truck bomb on the outside lane could also take down the rail bridge? Some explain that away by saying this was just a warning shot. Why would they do that and not go for the gold ring?

        • Mark Logan says:


          They may have lacked the right people in the right places where they load RR cars, furthermore the timing of when a car will cross can be difficult to determine. Could get stuck on a siding awaiting a train to form up for quite some time. Keeping tabs on a single RR car through that process would be challenging.

          With a truck all they would need is to follow it, and one could trigger the detonation from a car a few hundred meters either ahead or behind it. Ideally ahead.

          I suspect the need to now closely inspect the contents of freight vehicles crossing that bridge will serve to slow things down, perhaps as much as losing two lanes will. The process shown on the vids seems to have been a quick checking of paperwork, mostly. Now they will need to go through the whole cargo….carefully.

        • Mark Logan says:


          Forgot to mention in my just-previous post there can be a serious degrading of radio signal in rail cars. The metal is thick and grounded through the rails.

          • Leith says:

            Mark Logan –

            Good insights.

            Someone mentioned previously that trains quite often stop on that particular section of track on the bridge. Why, I have no idea?

            I have been wondering – if it was a truck bomb could it have been rigged as a crude shape charge directed up towards the RR bridge? Just line the bed of the truck like they did in the Beirut Barracks bombings to direct the force upwards. Probably just one of my wild-ass brain farts. Any remnants of the truck been recovered yet?

            Or there are others online that speculate it was a missile attack. An air burst? But where is the shrapnel damage in the images?

  29. Lorraine B. says:

    The bridge has a double use, civilian and, at this point of time, also military, therefore, it could be considered a terrorist attack, as has just been labeled by the head of the Russina investigative comittee and certified by V.V.Putin in a video psoted at RT….

    Retaliation, thus, will come for sure….

    Celebrating terrorist attacks, as they are doing in Kiev, does not seem to fit with the previous narrative of the “rules based order”, this is new…

    Were we not against terrorism?

    • TTG says:

      Lorraine B,

      Russia has been targeting Ukrainian apartment buildings, schools and hospitals, all civilian infrastructure, for the last eight months in an invasion of a sovereign country. I never hear any of the Russophiles piss and moan about any of that so called terrorism.

      • Do you deny that
        the Ukrainians sometimes have colocated military forces with those civilian installations,
        just so they could claim Russians are targeting civilians?

        • TTG says:

          Keith Harbaugh,

          “just so they could claim Russians are targeting civilians?”

          Yes, I find that to be implausible, Kremlin inspired propaganda.

      • Let me add this documentation to the above comment:

        Ukrainian forces have put civilians in harm’s way
        by establishing bases and operating weapons systems in populated residential areas,
        including in schools and hospitals,

        as they repelled the Russian invasion that began in February,
        Amnesty International said today.

        Such tactics violate international humanitarian law and endanger civilians,
        as they turn civilian objects into military targets.
        The ensuing Russian strikes in populated areas have killed civilians and destroyed civilian infrastructure.

        “We have documented a pattern of Ukrainian forces putting civilians at risk and violating the laws of war
        when they operate in populated areas,”
        said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

        “Being in a defensive position does not exempt the Ukrainian military from respecting international humanitarian law.”

        • Pat Lang says:

          I once had a young officer with no real experience of combat tell me that I should not lay a crew served machine gun’s final protective line in such aa way that it might endanger local civilians. I laughed and told him to watch and learn and that I planned to go home alive.

          • Fourth and Long says:

            You sound a bit like my dad the air corps navigator regarding Heroes Here, Ma.

            But you have spoken out strongly against that so, I guess you weren’t in the frame of mind to ask him politely to go tell the civilians if they thought maybe they might kindly only delay for another ten minutes or so while his commanding officer decided whether to use the pastel tinted machine gun or the retro rusty one from the nearby collector’s item boutique.

    • mcohen says:

      Seems like a message.The bridge is valuable to both sides and totally destroying it will serve no purpose in the long run

      • Pat Lang says:

        You notice what you have not seen thus far? No nuke.

      • Mike B says:

        mcohen, assuming that the Russians troops collapse and give Crimea back to Ukraine, why does Ukraine need a bridge to Russia?
        Valuable to both makes no sense.

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