Updated Oct 8, 2022 - World

Photos show damage after fireball engulfed Russian bridge to Crimea

A look at the Kerch Strait Bridge fire.

A look at the Kerch Strait Bridge fire. Photo: Vera Katkova/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

More images of the massive explosion on the Kerch Strait Bridge that links Crimea to Russia surfaced online Saturday.

Why it matters: The bridge — often a political symbol often praised by Russian President Vladimir Putin — temporarily weakens a Russian military supply route.

What we're seeing: Two new satellite images from Maxar Technologies taken Oct. 8 show the extent of the damage.

  • Both images show the extent of the smoke from the fiery explosion of seven fuel tanks, Axios reported.
Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies
Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies
A section of the Kerch Bridge collaposed into the Kerch Straight while another portion is on fire after an explosion.
Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

More images showed a zoomed-out view of the explosion with a thick pillar of smoke trailing away from the site.

Explosion causes fire at the Kerch bridge in the Kerch Strait, Crimea.
Photo: Vera Katkova/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Explosion causes fire at the Kerch bridge in the Kerch Strait, Crimea.
Photo: Vera Katkova/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Explosion causes fire at the Kerch bridge.
Photo: Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The big picture: The giant explosion on the bridge comes as Ukraine's military has recently made advancements in the Kherson and Kharkiv Oblasts regions after launching a massive counteroffensive in August, Axios' Jacon Knutson writes.

  • Ukraine has slowly regained large amounts of territory, recapturing many key strategic cities, including Lyman in northern Donetsk.

What next: Winter approaches, so Ukraine may need to slow its counter-offensive. This could allow Russia to potentially reinforce its own military, Knutson writes.

  • That said, the Kerch Strait Bridge explosion represents a massive strike to a Russian supply route. Russia has often used the bridge to provide fuel and armor to troops in the south.

Go deeper: Fireball engulfs key Crimean bridge for supplying Russian troops

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to change the sourcing for the satellite images. The images came from Maxar Technologies, not PlanetScope.

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