Russian officials tasked with guarding one of the Kremlin's most high-profile political projects have reportedly employed underwater tactics in a bid to deter potential terrorists.
In a move better-suited to a James Bond
blockbuster, an underwater taskforce armed with amphibious rifles has
been formed to protect Russia's infamous Kerch bridge, Russian
tabloid Izvestia reported Friday, citing an anonymous source within
the security services.
Russia's National Guard will reportedly fight off would-be saboteurs
and hunt for explosives at the base of the bridge, which will connect
the annexed Crimean Peninsula with the Russian mainland.
Due for completion in 2018, the bridge will stretch for over 19
kilometers and accommodate both trains and cars. The construction
site is currently guarded by military
counter-sabotage detachments of the Black Sea Fleet.
With its current budget of over 200 billion rubles ($3.4 billion)
— and its significant political symbolism — the bridge has been
dubbed “too big to fail.”
During a visit to the construction site early in
2016, President Vladimir Putin threatened "to hang" anyone
who doesn't deliver results on the project.
Several detachments of National Guard combat
divers already protect strategically important bridges and
hydroelectric power stations, Izvestia reported.