Crimean Bridge re-opens after 'exercises', Russian-backed official says

Vehicles drive over the Crimea bridge

(Reuters) - The Russian-built Crimean Bridge linking the Crimean peninsula to the Russian region of Krasnodar was reopened on Wednesday after being closed for several hours for "exercises", an official from Crimea's Russian-backed administration said.

It was not clear what was meant by exercises. A local radio station posted a video on YouTube, which Reuters could not verify, showing white smoke billowing from the main central span of the bridge, and more smoke rising from one of the approaches to the bridge.

The 12-mile (19-km) road and rail bridge was damaged by an explosion last October, in an attack that the Kremlin said had been orchestrated by Ukrainian security forces. Ukraine did not claim responsibility.

Crimea was annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014, but is internationally recognised as part of Ukraine.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey)