Kerch Bridge on fire: why are the Russians lying about the truck? Versions, proofs and rebuttals from Molfar

For many of us, the morning of Saturday, October 8, did not start with coffee, but with the news about the detonation of the Kerch bridge, which was illegally built by the Russian occupiers and connects the occupied Crimea with mainland Russia. As a result, traffic on the bridge was stopped and trains were delayed, the fire was extinguished with helicopters, and a traffic jam of ships on both sides of the bridge formed. Panic also began on the territory of the peninsula: restrictions on the purchase of cereals and sugar were introduced, and huge queues formed at gas stations in a matter of minutes.

In Russia, it was called a “terrorist attack” for which Ukrainians, Russian traitors and representatives of foreign groups are to blame. And they quickly presented their own version, according to which the “most protected bridge” was destroyed by a truck carrying several tons of… film.

But this version is so absurd that even the Russians understood it. Therefore, the truck was charged with transporting an explosive substance — nitrate, not film. Because their people would rather believe in this and not ask additional questions: how come a truck with a film blew up a bridge, for the security of which more than $32 million goes from the treasury every year, and during the construction of the bridge, about $250 million was invested in the security of the bridge.

What is known about the destruction of the Kerch Bridge?

On October 8, two spans collapsed on the Kerch bridge, partially collapsed another one nearby, which is not mentioned in the official version. A railway depot was also blown up, where a railway span was burnt, according to the publication. The Meduza article states that more than a kilometer of railway tracks were damaged in the fire. It is worth noting that the railway track and the second traffic lane remained practically intact (only the fence was destroyed and the coating was burned, but the supports and road surfaces are intact).

The railway tracks were almost undamaged, moreover, the brighe supports survived

The second lane also survived. The explosion damaged the fence and the road surface

There are several versions of what happened to the Kerch crossing. But first, a few theses, why the official Russian version is an outright lie.

Russians lie again. Why is the official version with a truck absurd?

According to the official data of the Russian Federation, the bridge was damaged due to the detonation of the truck. And as a result, 7 more fuel tanks of the railway depot caught fire. That is why 2 spans of the road bridge collapsed. The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation also published a comment in which there were 3 dead people (people were probably traveling in a car next to the truck), and later – about 5.

Samir Yusubov

Later, Samir recorded a video message in which he said that “has nothing to do with what happened on the Crimean bridge.” In the video, he added that the actual owner of the truck is his uncle, 51-year-old Makhir Yusubov, who was probably in the truck at the time of the explosion. Some (1, 2) mass media write (without specifying the source of the information) that relatives of the Yusubovs allegedly recognized Makhir in the video where he is being inspected on the bridge:

The route of the truck was published

What does not make any sense in the official Russian version?

 Previously, it was said that explosive materials were being transported – fertilizers with nitrate. But according to the rules of transportation, dangerous goods should be transported exclusively with an escort. Instead, some publications indicated that the driver had to transport 21 tons of film, which was placed on pallets. But the Russian news agency RBC suggests that the driver could have been “used blindly”, because he seems to have received an order to transport fertilizer via the Internet.

The truck was not checked when entering the bridge, states Russian propaganda media. Although they should have, given the dangerous cargo the car was transporting. Moreover, all entrances to the bridge are equipped with ST-6035 stationary inspection and radio-technical complexes.

When the truck exploded, a hole in the road surface should have been left on the bridge, but it’s not there.

Watching the video of the explosion, you can see in some frames that there were two explosions on the highway, and then one more – on the railway line. This is evidenced by the white streak that appeared before the explosion, that is, probably due to a rocket strike or an explosion from below. And the truck, which, according to official information, was the cause of the destruction, was not even at the epicenter of the explosion, although it later fell under it.

Let’s analyze the video with the explosion in more detail.

1. We have a frame before the explosion: here is a truck, which, according to the official version, will then explode, driving next to a car. They are followed by a car and a truck:

2. The next frame — a white stripe appears from below. It may also indicate the second explosion, which was off-screen. And theoretically, due to the second (rocket strike or detonation from below), the second span could collapse:

3. And only in the next frame we see a blinding flash:

4. Then, when the flash gradually dissipates, we see that the 2 cars behind are not destroyed, and the truck is not at the epicenter of the explosion at all:
5. At the end of the video, it can be seen that the car that was driving in the oncoming lane, but was very close to the truck, was able to drive a certain distance (and even kept its headlights on):

There is another video showing that the truck was not the epicenter of the explosion:

On the road bridge, if you watch the video frame-by-frame at the moment of the explosion, a white flash appears to the right of the truck, from the side of the bridge’s streetlights. A truck and a car — on the road without damage. Further, after the explosion, you can see that smoke and fire begin to spread also to the right, through the lanterns.

The layout of the truck and other cars at the time of the explosion. For the calculation, footage from a camera placed on one of the pillars of the railway bridge (opposite the damaged second span) was used.

The footage shows that a truck and a car nearby — a Cadillac Escalade — left for the first span before the explosion:

In the video, at the time of the explosion, a truck and a car are near the object behind the bridge, and the car driving in the opposite lane is closer to the explosion. Also, on the video, a passenger car overtakes a truck in the area of the facility behind the bridge on the lane towards Crimea.

About the missile “Greetings” from the Ukrainian Armed Forces

Theoretically, if the rocket was launched by Ukrainian Armed Forces, then the likely launch site would be the city of Orihiv, Zaporizhzhia region. Hypothetically, it would be possible to launch a missile over the Crimean bridge from there without damaging the launcher. But we take into account distances: from Orichov to the Kerch bridge (by air) is about 260 km. And it is 6-7 km to the front line.

If we consider the hypothesis that the attack on the illegally built crossing was indeed from Orichov, then the AGM/RGM-84 “Harpoon”, which was once transferred to Ukraine by Denmark, could have been used for this purpose.

AGM RGM-84 “Harpoon” (ground-based)

But there are several questions about the missile “Greetings”:

If a missile had been launched at the bridge, the impact would have been much greater. What can be seen from the photo and video does not bear the consequences of a missile strike.

The Armed Forces do not yet have the ability to launch AGM/RGM-84 “Harpoon” missiles from the ground.

In the case of a missile attack, the MGM-168A Atacms based on Himars would be effective. But so far there are no confirmed facts of the supply of such weapons.

A video of what appears to be an incoming shell has been published online. But after analyzing that video, we saw that the effect of the explosion was applied in post-production, and the explosion itself and the lane are not aligned. There was still no explosive wave in the water or usual camera movements.

If we take into account all the circumstances of the explosion, then the missile should have been launched from the southwest side. Then the missile would fly over Crimea and probably fall into the zone of Russian mobile or stationary radars. The missile would have been shot down.

The railway depot was damaged less than it would have been as a result of a missile hitting it (even compared to those wagons destroyed by the Russians in Chaplyny, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast).

Alternative version: the bridge was blown up from below

Theoretically, the bridge could have been blown up from below. After all, at the moment of detonation, there was a wave under the section that collapsed, while there was no under the others.

The first photo shows the axis deviation. On the second, there are no consequences of the blast wave in the water

This may be the result of the operation of an air or water drone. Or, conditionally, some kind of boat. Or that the supports were mined.

About the boat. In the footage from the camera attached to the railway part of the bridge, you can see how a white object is visible between the pillars. It moves with water. It’s hard to tell if it’s a wave or maybe a boat, because in the first seconds the camera is blinded by an explosion.

About the drone. A water drone for special operations was already found near the coast of Sevastopol. It was probably delivered to us from the USA in April. Or is it a Ukrainian-made drone in general (1, 2, 3). After all, Ukrainian aerial drones regularly operate in Crimea.

It is this version that is confirmed by the fact that the road broke off from its fastenings, but the supports survived (because their stability is higher than that of the road).

According to the tweet, a section of the bridge was dropped, which may indicate that the explosion was from the water side or due to the missile hit.

Also, in the photo of the consequences of the explosion, we can see a hole, and near the support – traces of metal deformation. Burnt traces are visible on the inner surface of the canvas that survived. In addition, in order for the bridge deck to collapse, it would be necessary to attack along the entire width of the crossing.

Telegram channel VolyaMedia reported that the bridge was mined back in September, while the official version with explosives in the truck is spreading, they say, to shift responsibility from the FSB to the protection of the bridge and the State Inspectorate of the Russian Federation.

What is wrong about this version?

Bellingcat’s Nick Waters doubts this version, because the flames spread to the top, and if the explosion had been under the bridge span, there would have been a delay between the first explosion and the explosion of the truck. He also spoke about the version with the boat: “If there is a boat, I don’t see it. I see waves that may point to something (something moving under the bridge) or not.”

As we can see, the official version of the Russian Federation is based on lies and manipulation. But what can you think of to hide the embezzlement of budget funds. Because this year, 2 billion rubles were allocated for the security of the Kerch bridge. But it seems that it is simply necessary to raise the salaries of the Russian war dolphins so that they better protect the Kerch Bridge.

Source: authors of the Molfar OSINT community

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