Identities of Crimean Bridge blast victims revealed – media
A couple from St. Petersburg who worked as tour guides were killed in the Crimean Bridge explosion, Russian media outlet Mash reported on Sunday. The pair was travelling to Crimea to shoot a documentary about the last Russian emperor.
The victims of the attack were Eduard, 53, and Zoya, 33, who were husband and wife, Mash wrote. Zoya was a professional historian and journalist, while Eduard specialized in the history and architecture of St. Petersburg.
They created two YouTube channels in 2020, where they had begun publishing documentaries. The channels currently only feature a series about the last Russian emperor, Nikolai II, and his family titled: ‘The Last Romanovs. The fall of the empire.’
“This is a small family project,” a description to the channel reads, adding that the couple’s “philosophy is to ‘say no to boring documentaries’.” Eduard and Zoya reportedly planned to shoot another part of their documentary in Crimea when they set off for the peninsula, Mash said.
According to the media outlet, they sought to visit the Livadia Palace, the former summer retreat of Nikolai II, which also hosted the Yalta Conference that brought together Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Franklin Roosevelt in 1945.
The couple were travelling together with a friend from Moscow, a judge identified as Sergey, who also had a house in Crimea, where the friends had planned to stay for a month, Mash said, claiming that there was also a fourth person in their car, a man identified only as Gleb.
The media outlet claimed that the total number of victims thus could end up being five, since it also included driver of the truck. However, Russian authorities have only reported finding the bodies of a man and a woman at the scene, without providing further details. The officials also did not comment on the Mash report.
On Sunday, the head of the Russian Investigative Committee, Aleksandr Bastrykin, said that the terrorist act targeting the bridge had been planned and carried out by Ukrainian intelligence with the help of some Russian and foreign nationals.
Russia’s Federal Security Service has identified the suspects in the case, Bastrykin said, without revealing any identities. Earlier, Mash and a Telegram channel called Baza reported that the truck that blew up belonged to a Russian national identified as Samir Yusubov but was in fact used by a relative of his named Makhir. According to the media, Makhir was driving the vehicle when it exploded. Russian officials neither confirmed nor denied this information.
The attack led to the partial collapse of the highway bridge and saw seven fuel tanks of a train heading towards Crimea through a nearby railway bridge catch fire. Both road and rail traffic on the bridge had been re-opened by the end of the day on Saturday.