2 + 2 = 5 : Fact Checking the Kerch Bridge Explosion

A powerful blast damaged the Kerch Strait bridge in the early hours of Saturday, hitting a crucial route for the supply of fuel, food and other products to the Russian-annexed Crimea (here). Images showed the explosion blew away half of a section of the bridge’s roadway, with the other half still attached. (here). Fact Checking reports are emerging now. so far, no one has taken credit. (Reuters)

The explosion on the bridge over the Kerch Strait damaged an important supply route for Russia’s forces. While Ukrainian officials celebrated, the explosion they have not claimed responsibility. Russian security services have initially suspected “sabotage,” but stopped short of assigning blame.

As the dust settled—and before Putin’s Monday address in which he claimed, without offering evidence, that Ukraine was behind it—footage began to circulating online, which some claimed showed the moment of a missile strike.

Footage posted on Twitter and Telegram between October 8-10, 2022, showed what appears to be a missile striking the Kerch bridge.

The videos feature a mixture of footage shot with a night vision camera, taken from a distance, and without night-vision on the dashboard camera of a vehicle crossing the bridge.

While reports have appeared in the past few months about Ukraine’s threats to destroy the bridge, Saturday’s blast was nonetheless hugely surprising, least of all as the frontline of conflict has been concentrated hundreds of miles from CrimeaStreams of misinformation were always likely to follow such a surprising development but, in this instance, the sheer amateur nature of the “footage” used to accompany claims that a missile strike happened was an instant red flag with regards to its credibility. Newsweek

In another instance of viral misinformation., a dash cam video of the explosion has also been fact checked as ”manipulated media”. … (see below)

A video that has been online since at least May 2022 has been miscaptioned with a false claim on social media that it depicts the moment of an Oct. 8 blast on the Kerch Strait bridge, the only bridge that links Russia and the Crimean peninsula.

On Oct. 8, Twitter users shared a clip, a dashcam video showing what appears to be an explosion disrupting a driver’s journey across an unidentified bridge (here) (here).


Another misinformation fact checked is the recent claim that an ID of a Ukrainian citizen was found at the site of the blast, something of a recurring motif in Russia’s “explanations” of such incidents that even became an internet meme.


The ID is a fabrication and has been shared online before to spread misinformation about the conflict in Ukraine. It goes back to at least February 2022, when it was linked to a “fallen Azov leader,” referring to the Ukrainian Azov battalion.

The photo has been attributed to Sam Hyde, a right-leaning comic, who has been a regular target of bogus social media claims over the past six years.

Apart from the fact that the man in the ID is topless, there are other clues as to its inauthenticity. The document issue number are all zeroes and the name on the passport is “Semen Hydenko”, in what appears to be a lewd reference to Hyde (and an inaccurate transliteration of the original Cyrillic surname).

A March 2022 Snopes investigation into misappropriated media traced the ID photo of Hyde to entries on 4Chan from February 22, 2022, falsely describing him as the “butcher of Luhansk.”

While Russian and Ukrainian officials have traded accusations about who is to blame for the explosion, there is currently no conclusive explanation as to what caused it or who was behind it. Newsweek