The Anonymous Widower

How Did The Ukrainians Attack The Crimea Bridge?

No-one seems to know what happened on the Crimea Bridge, which appeared to catch fire.

  • Was it the Ukranians?
  • Was it some of Putin’s enemies in Russia?
  • Was it an accident?
  • Did a battery in an electric car explode?
  • Was it a suicide bomber?
  • Was it a drone strike?
  • Was it a drunken lorry-driver, who hit something?

We just get more and more questions.

But here’s two questions, that can be answered.

Was the train going from Russia? For my theory to be feasible, it must have been going from Russia into Crimea.

Did more than one part of the train catch fire? Someone said it did.

The Track Layout

I have been looking at the track layout over the bridge on OpenRailwayMap, which shows everything. It appears a couple of kilometres. to the South (Russian) side of the bridge there is a set of sidings and/or freight loops.

This OpenRailwayMap shows the sidings in relation to the bridge.


  1. The main line is shown in orange.
  2. The bridge is in the North-West corner of the map.
  3. The sidings are shown in black alongside the main line in the South-East corner of the map.

This second map shows the loops and sidings in more detail.


  1. Trains in Russia run on the right track, whereas the UK runs on the left.
  2. There are actually two sets of loops; one has extra sidings and the other doesn’t.
  3. Both loops can be accessed from both tracks and directions.

Unfortunately, the Google Map of the area shows the construction phase.

Did the freight train stop overnight in these sidings and proceed at first light? After all it might be going a long way and drivers needed time for sleep, some food, vodka and a few ciggies.

Whilst it was stopped did Ukrainian saboteurs sneak in and fix bombs with timers to the train? After all kids sneak into our sidings at night and graffiti the trains.

The timers could even have been fitted with GPS, so they went off on the most vulnerable part of the bridge.

This could explain the timing and how the train appeared to have been hit more than once!

For a raid, it would be much easier than say what the Norwegians did in WW2 to blow up the heavy water plant at Telemark, where they didn’t lose a man.

A Picture Of The Train Fire

This picture shows the train fire.


  1. It appears that the carriageway nearest to the camera has collapsed.
  2. If we assume, the break point is now lying on the seabed, it points to the pier with the light-coloured rectangle on top being the failure point of the road bridge.
  3. According to OpenRailwayMap, who handily show carriageway directions, that is the carriageway to Crimea.
  4. The rail bridge is double-track and appears to be reasonably intact.
  5. The train also appears to be intact, except for some fire damage.
  6. If the train was going to Crimea, it would be on the track nearest to the camera.

I do think, that if it was explosions on the train that caused the bridge collapse, there would be more damage on the other carriageway and on the railway.

The Collapse Of The Crimea-Bound Carriageway

This reminds me very much of the collapse of the Cleddau Bridge in Wales, during construction in 1970.

Wikipedia says this about that collapse.

Errors in the box girder design caused the collapse during construction in 1970. The bridge became operational during 1975.

If I remember correctly, during construction, the bridge was effectively overloaded. I can certainly remember lots of discussion about the failure in the office, where I worked in ICI at Runcorn.

I am not suggesting, that there were errors in the Russian calculations, but that something happened to take the bridge outside of its safety limits.

Suppose, there was a large explosion near the pier, where the break occurred, could it have caused the bolts holding the sections of the bridge to shear and allow the bridge to fall, as the pictures show.

It is certainly looking that a major truck bomb, is the cause.

CCTV pictures have been shown, that purport to see a truck exploding.

Was It A Suicide Attack?

I don’t think that the type of traditional suicide attacks, as practiced by the Islamic State and others would be carried out by either Ukraine or Russia. Although Chechens did use suicide attacks in their war against Russia.

But I do think it would be possible for a driver to stop a truck, put out warning triangles or whatever is the law in Russia and then be picked up by a friendly driver.

Alternatively, they could wait until the truck exploded and then make a getaway under cover of the fire. They could even jump into the water and be picked up by a boat.

If the Russians were behind it, they would have the ability to use a hired driver from perhaps a local agency.

Suppose, a hired driver were to be told to take a truck load of watermelons to Sebastopol and bring the truck back. A quick look would confirm the watermelons, but I doubt, the driver would find the bomb underneath.

If the driver was killed would the Russians mind.

The Ukrainians might not either, but they’d have the problem of getting the truck deep into Russian territory, without being detected.

The Truck On The Bridge According To The BBC

This article on the BBC is entitled Crimean Bridge: Who – Or What – Caused The Explosion?.

The article says this about the truck.

Security camera footage released on social media showed a truck – allegedly from the Russian city of Krasnodar, an hour’s drive from the crossing – moving west across the bridge at the time of the explosion.

Russian officials named a 25-year old Krasnodar man, Samir Yusubov, as the owner of the truck, and said an older relative, Makhir Yusubov, was the driver.

But close examination of the footage seems to show that the truck had nothing to do with the explosion.


  1. If the truck was going West it was going from Russia to Crimea, this meant it was on the carriageway furthest from the railway.
  2. The truck was on the carriageway that collapsed.

Does that rule out a truck bomb?

The View Of A British Army Explosives Expert

The BBC article also says this.

“I’ve seen plenty of large vehicle-borne IEDs [improvised explosive devices] in my time,” a former British army explosives expert told me. “This does not look like one.”

A more plausible explanation, he said, is a massive explosion below the bridge – probably delivered using some kind of clandestine maritime drone.

“Bridges are generally designed to resist downwards loads on the deck and a certain amount of side loading from the wind,” he said. “They are not generally engineered to resist upward loads. I think this fact was exploited in the Ukrainian attack.”

That sounds feasible to me, but the BBC article also has this paragraph.

If this is how Ukraine managed to attack the Kerch Bridge, hundreds of miles from Ukrainian-controlled territory, then it’s one of Kyiv’s most ambitious operations so far.

If that is true, it certainly is an ambitious operation, that ranks alongside the St Nazaire Raid in World War II.

A Structural Engineer’s Thoughts

This article on New Civil Engineer is entitled How The Crimean Bridge Explosion Caused Multiple Spans To Collapse.

It is the thoughts of Andrew Barr at the University of Sheffield and it well worth a read.


We’re still a long way from the truth.



October 8, 2022 - Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , , ,


  1. Can’t understand how the road deck is so badly damaged which is at some distance from the train level unless something blew up on the bridge deck with perfect timing just as the tank train past and shrapnel penetrated the tank cars and started the fires.
    Its going to be an attack as far as Russia is concerned so they can use for an excuse to attack part of Ukraine not in the fighting zone.
    I still feel people should be careful what they wish for here backing Vlad into a corner wont end well and the West really has a lot to answer for how we got into this position in the first place. I was hoping by now the more affluent westernised part of Russian society would have bought pressure on Vlad to come to some agreement but that was probably folly of me as Russia is a past master of just ignoring its peoples wishes.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | October 9, 2022 | Reply

    • The damage to the road bridge is substantial. But what is clear from the pictures is that there are several fires on the train some distance apart.

      This is an interesting read and the Russians did a lot of train sabotage.

      I wish, I’d paid more attention, when I was in Minsk in 2008, when I went round their war museum. There was a large section on resistance to the Germans.

      As an engineer though, I would certainly attack a tank car full of fuel with a bomb on the top. Perhaps, the Russians/Ukrainians/Poles used this method in world war 2 and granddad remembered.

      Comment by AnonW | October 9, 2022 | Reply

  2. Was it the Ukrainians?
    Was it some of Putin’s enemies in Russia?
    Was it an accident?
    Almost certainly not.
    Did a battery in an electric car explode?
    Not enough energy IMO.
    Was it a suicide bomber?
    Was it a drone strike?
    Subsequent visitors describe a lack of signs of impact etc. from incoming missile.
    Was it a drunken lorry-driver, who hit something?
    No lorry stays in lane and looks like it passed the point of explosion when it occurs.
    Just possible lorry was carrying munitions, but then there would have been multiple explosions.
    Was the train going from Russia? For my theory to be feasible, it must have been going from Russia into Crimea.
    Yes damage is on Russian side of the main spans.
    Did more than one part of the train catch fire? Someone said it did.
    Several wagons are seen on fire having suffered perforations.

    Quite how this sabotage was effected remains to be told, but the blast is very large damaging civil engineering infrastructure. The train of fuel tankers seems to have been hit by debris or more likely shrapnel and IMO the blast was set off so as to both break the road bridge (two spans on one carriageway down) and badly damage the rail bridge. The fire burnt for quite a while destroying any cabling etc. on the railway bridge. Not a total success, but very effective.

    Comment by R. Mark Clayton | October 9, 2022 | Reply

  3. My feeling, is that if it was a suicide mission, by the Ukranians, they would have had difficulty getting a driver. Also unlike some, they don’t seem to do suicide missions. There’s also the problem of getting a truck full of explosives to Rostov-on-Don to drive it across the bridge, without being searched.

    Judging by the damage, it must have been a substantial bomb and it should be noted that the Bishopsgate bomb was a tonne of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil. Would that have been able to shear the roadway bolts?

    The Russians could have created the bomb in Rostov in perhaps the back of a large truck carrying innocent supplies like the watermelons Putin got for his birthday.

    All they would have needed to have done would hire a freelance driver to drive the truck to say Sebastopol.

    They could have followed the truck in a car and blown it up at the right time by a radio link.

    Would they have bothered that an innocent man died? I very much doubt it!

    Judging by the fact that they treat women badly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the driver was female.

    Comment by AnonW | October 9, 2022 | Reply

  4. I heard a bomb expert on the Jeremy Vine show today say that, in his opinion, this was a *floating* bomb. It was probably detonated using some sort of timer mechanism. The sea surface would have reflected some of the destructive energy upwards, increasing its effectiveness. The presence of the train was, he said, a lucky coincidence.

    Comment by Christopher L | October 10, 2022 | Reply

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