Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold an operational meeting of his Security Council on Monday, just two days after a massive explosion on a key strategic bridge linking Crimea and Russia.
The meeting itself isn’t out of the ordinary – Putin regularly holds operational meetings with the Security Council, usually on a weekly basis, according to TASS. However, it comes just days after a major humiliation for the Russian President, when an explosion severely damaged parts of the road and rail bridge between annexed Crimea and the Russian Federation early Saturday.
And while the agenda has not been made public, the meeting comes at a strategic crossroads for the Kremlin, which must make a series of unenviable choices after Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has faltered after a month of military setbacks.
Some road traffic and train traffic has resumed on the estimated $3.7 billion bridge. On Saturday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin said repair works on the bridge would be carried out around the clock, with a damage survey to be completed within a day and divers scheduled to check all the supports of the bridge.
The first passenger services resumed travel across the bridge on Saturday, traveling from the Crimean Peninsula to Krasnodar Krai in southern Russia, Russia’s Ministry of Transport said in a statement.
Car traffic on the bridge has also restarted in two lanes, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Marat Khusnullin said on Sunday. “Traffic has already been launched along two lanes on the Crimean bridge,” he wrote in a Telegram post, adding that earlier, one lane was being used for cars traveling in alternate directions, slowing down traffic. Heavy trucks, vans and buses have been traveling by ferry since the blast.