On Saturday morning, a bomb exploded on the important bridge to the Russian-controlled Crimean Peninsula. Parts of the road fell into the water. A train passing over it caught fire. Much of what happened is now clear. But not all. What we know – and what we don’t.

What happened: The bridge to the annexed Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, which is strategically important for Russia, was severely damaged by a bomb explosion on Saturday. A truck bomb exploded and caused a major fire on the bridge, according to the National Anti-Terrorism Committee in Moscow. Seven tank wagons of a train also caught fire.

When did it happen: The bomb exploded at 06:07 local time (05:07 German time).

Where did it happen: The explosion occurred near the city of Kerch. The bridge there is a very important line of communication for Russian troops from Russia towards Ukraine.

What was damaged: Seven tank wagons of a freight train bound for Crimea caught fire as a result of the “detonation of a car bomb” in the car lane of the bridge, the committee said. Two lanes were damaged, and car and rail traffic across the bridge initially came to a standstill. Dramatic footage was seen online networks showing parts of the bridge falling into the water.

Were there any deaths: Yes, at least three people died according to Russian information. Among them are believed to be “occupants of the car that drove near the exploded truck.” The bodies of two victims – a man and a woman – were recovered from the water, it said.

Who drove the exploded truck: According to Russian information, the owner of the truck could be identified. Investigators said it was a resident of the southern Russian region of Krasnodar, without naming the man. Accordingly, investigations were initiated at his residence, the documented route of the truck will be checked.

Is the bridge still passable: Yes. At least according to the Russian authorities. Traffic on the bridge was reopened in the afternoon. The bridge is “open to cars and buses,” said the head of administration of the peninsula, Sergey Aksyonov, in the online service Telegram. Trains would also pass the bridge again in the evening, the Russian railway operator said.

How long has the bridge existed? The 19-kilometer road and rail bridge was completed four years after Russia annexed Crimea and was inaugurated personally by Putin in 2018 – and is therefore of particular symbolic importance for Russians and Ukrainians alike.

Read all about why the Crimean Bridge is so important here

Who is responsible: It was initially unclear who was responsible for the explosion.

Military expert Mick Ryan tweeted Saturday that blowing up such a bridge required “a lot of explosives and good planning.” Reinforced concrete bridges like the Crimean Bridge are the “most difficult bridges to blow up”.

What does Putin say about the explosion: Unclear. According to official information, the head of the Kremlin will not speak to the Russians in the next few days. Such an appearance is not planned, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday, according to the state news agency Ria Novosti. Political observers had considered the president’s speech likely given the severe damage to the bridge. However, Putin set up a government commission to investigate the incident. Russian authorities launched a criminal investigation.

According to the Ukrainian Presidency, the trail leads to Russia. “It is worth noting that according to all indications, the truck that exploded entered the bridge from the Russian side,” Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podoliak said on Saturday. “So the answers should be sought in Russia,” Podoliak added. “All this clearly points to a trail to Russia.”

The president of the regional parliament deployed by Russia in Crimea, Vladimir Konstantinov, spoke of a blow by “Ukrainian vandals”.

The prominent Russian foreign politician Leonid Slutsky speaks of a “terrorist attack”. According to Slutsky, numerous statements by prominent politicians in Ukraine suggest that Kyiv organized the attack. Ukrainian media had reported that the SBU secret service in Kyiv was behind the special operation. “This can be an act of state terrorism, for which, as we can see, there is applause in European capitals,” Slutski said.

If the Ukrainian trail in the attack is confirmed, “the consequences will be inevitable,” said Slutsky on Saturday in the Crimean capital Simferopol. “The answer should be harsh, but not necessarily frontal,” he said. Moscow has repeatedly threatened to target command centers in Kyiv if attacks continue.

A few hours after the explosion – and after the defeats of the Russian armed forces in the past few days and weeks – the Russian army changed the commander of its Ukraine offensive. Army General Sergey Surovikin has been appointed commander of troops “in the area of ​​military special operations” in Ukraine, the Defense Ministry in Moscow announced on Telegram. Criticism of the Ukraine mission in Russia had recently become louder.