OLENA ROSHCHINA — THURSDAY, 20 OCTOBER 2022, 12:17
Aleksandr Sukhanov, Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation, who deals with transport safety and in particular on the Crimean Bridge, is leaving office in the near future.
Source: Russian news outlet RBC, citing sources close to the Russian Ministry of Transport
Details: One of the sources pointed to an explosion on the Crimean Bridge, which happened on 8 October, as a reason for the resignation. Another source close to the Ministry has confirmed this, stating the same reason.
A federal official and the source within one of the government bodies subject to the Ministry of Transport is also aware about the preparation of the resignation.
They may announce the resignation by the end of this week, as one of the RBC’s sources said. But "the tables may turn" or everything may be delayed, as another person highlighted.
The press service of the Russian government has not responded to the RBC’s request for comment; a representative of the Ministry of Transport has likewise refused to comment on this topic.
On 8 October 2022, a lorry exploded on the Crimean Bridge; after that, tanks with fuel from a railway train heading to the peninsula caught fire. According to the authorities, two cars were damaged and four people died.
On the same day, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on strengthening measures to protect the bridge and granted the FSB the authority to organise these measures. Later, he called the event a terrorist attack and accused the Ukrainian special services of preparing it.
On the Ukrainian side, there were speculations that the Russians themselves were responsible for the detonation. The explosion slowed down the movement of Russian military equipment to the occupied territories of Ukraine.
Despite the prompt resumption of train, car and bus traffic, truck traffic has not yet been restored across the bridge.
Note: Aleksandr Sukhanov became the Deputy Minister of Transport of Russia in July 2020 and was primarily concerned with the safety of the transport sector there; he supervised the activities of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise "Management of Departmental Security of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation".
Back in January 2017, the government of the Russian Federation appointed this particular company as the contractor of the transport security works of the Crimean Bridge.
The total cost of orders received by the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation for the security of the Crimean Bridge exceeded 12 billion roubles [US$195 million] by mid-2018. The deadlines for their completion have been postponed several times.