Eyewitnesses published photographs showing clouds of white smoke near the exit from the Crimean bridge. In particular, such pictures were published by the Kerch Info channel. The Ministry of Emergency Situations reported that the smoke near the Crimean bridge was due to the burning of grass. However, later the head of the Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, said that exercises were being held in the region.
“Law enforcement agencies are conducting exercises in the area of this strategic facility. Coincidentally, at the same time, an accident occurred on the bridge. There is no danger either for the bridge, or for the people, or for the Crimea," Aksyonov said.
The Krymsky Telegram channel writes , citing an unnamed source in the Crimean leadership, that the smoke appeared due to “the exercises of the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Emergencies and the Russian Guard to ensure the safety of the bridge and suppress threats.”
Earlier, the administration of the federal highways "Taman" reported that on July 1, from 13:40, traffic on the Crimean bridge was stopped in the direction of Novorossiysk due to an accident.
According to military experts, so far Ukraine does not have ammunition of the required range that could reach the bridge. However, it can become one of the goals in case of successful capture of Kherson by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
“To get to Chongar and Perekop <two entrances to the Crimea - The Insider> , you need to take Kherson,” explains expert Oleg Zhdanov. - If we take Kherson, then we cut off the entrance to the Crimea, if we cut off the entrance to the Crimea, then we need to damage the bridge. Having taken the Crimea, we make it an enclave - the bridge is damaged, there is no recharge, it is unlikely that they will quickly restore the crossing in order to transfer troops, and there are practically no troops in Crimea itself.
If the [Kerch] bridge is damaged, then there will be no replenishment of parts, you can enter the Crimea calmly. It doesn't even need to be destroyed. There is an excellent target there - the Kerch junction, to direct a group missile attack there, and that's all: there is no railway track, no roads, and the bridge is intact. The calculation is not only for missile systems. I think that there are things that you and I don't know about, in particular, about technology. In any case, I would not advise people now to go on vacation to the Crimea.”
Military expert Pavel Luzin earlier in a conversation with The Insider considered it unlikely that Ukraine would launch an offensive against Crimea in the near future, despite statements by the country's authorities.
“Ukraine is also playing a diplomatic game and using psychological pressure. Their priority now is the hunt for the Black Sea Fleet. Ideally, with the proper capabilities, skill and recklessness, they can try to hit the base in Sevastopol, but they won’t reach the bridge yet. Ukraine does not need a military seizure of Crimea now - the calculation is that in the future Russia itself will surrender the peninsula. In the meantime, Ukraine is betting not so much on knocking out Russia as on reworking the Russian army, since the military potential of Russia is basically difficult to replenish or not at all.”
In June, the representative of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky on Crimea, Tamila Tasheva, said that Kyiv’s approaches to the return of Crimea after February 24 had changed, now this will be achieved by military means.
“The question of Crimea after February 24, approaches to the return of the territory have changed. We understand that in any case, we now rely primarily on the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”
She added that in the implementation of any plans for the return of Crimea, the Ukrainian military will be the first to enter its territory. The key position of Kyiv is the return of territories without any ultimatums for the Ukrainian side and the return to the 1991 borders, including Crimea and Donbass, the presidential representative specified.