Large Fire Reported On Key Bridge Linking Russia To Crimea

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian state-backed media are reporting that a fire has occurred on the bridge linking mainland Russia with the Russian-controlled Crimean peninsula.

RIA-Novosti and the Tass news agency quoted local Russian official Oleg Kryuchkov as saying an object thought to be a fuel storage tank caught fire and that traffic has been stopped on the bridge.

Images shared on social media purported to show fire and damage to the span.

The authenticity of the reports and images could not be immediately verified.

The crossing is a pair of road and rail bridges that Russia built after it seized and annexed Crimea from Ukraine in violation of international law in 2014.

The fire occurred hours after explosions rocked the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv early Saturday, sending towering plumes of smoke into the sky and triggering a series of secondary explosions.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said on Telegram that the early-morning explosions were the result of missile strikes in the center of the city. He said that the blasts sparked fires at one of the city’s medical institutions and a nonresidential building. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

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