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Russia's FSB detains 8 suspects in Crimean bridge case, Ukrainian military intelligence chief named mastermind

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has announced that the head of Ukraine's military intelligence service, Kyrylo Budanov, masterminded the October 8 explosion on the Crimean bridge. Another 12 people were allegedly involved in the attack, eight of whom have already been detained, reported Russian state-owned news agency TASS.

According to the agency, the explosives, which were passed off as rolls of film, were sent from Odesa and crossed the borders of Bulgaria, Georgia and Armenia before reaching their destination.

On October 8 at 6:05 a.m. a truck exploded on the highway section of the Crimean bridge close to the Taman peninsula, setting fire to oil tank cars that were moving along the railway bridge that runs parallel. The explosion was caught on video. Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case into the incident.

The head of the parliament of the annexed peninsula, Vladimir Konstantinov, claimed that the roadbed was damaged by “Ukrainian vandals.” At a meeting with the head of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin, President Vladimir Putin claimed that the Ukrainian special services organized and executed the blast. Putin instructed the FSB to strengthen the security of the Kerch Strait crossing, the Russia-Crimea power grid bridge as well the gas pipeline running from the Krasnodar region to Crimea.

Russian news agency RBC, citing a source in law enforcement agencies, reported that the truck driver received an order to transport fertilizer via the Internet. Media project Mash earlier claimed that 52-year-old Mahir Yusubov – uncle of vehicle owner Samir Yusubov – could have been at the wheel of the truck at the time of the explosion.

The fact that the truck allegedly crossed the border with Bulgaria was previously stated by the head of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin. Acting Bulgarian Prime Minister Galab Donev responded that the country's authorities had carried out an inspection and completely ruled out the possibility that the truck had crossed Bulgaria’s border. The Bulgarian government has stated that it would not allow “the country's name to be used in any connection with terrorist activities.”

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