Vladimir Putin has suffered a significant setback after a massive explosion seriously destroyed the single bridge

between the Crimean peninsula and the Russian mainland, cutting off a vital supply line for Moscow's sputtering war in Ukraine.

Images and video from the area indicated that the bomb early on Saturday forced some of the Kerch Strait road and rail bridge, which Putin personally opened in 2018, to collapse.

According to early information, the explosion claimed the lives of at least three persons, according to Russian officials.

It is still unknown what exactly caused the blast at Europe's longest bridge. Russian officials said that a truck explosion caused portions of the bridge that were headed toward Crimea to collapse.

A train of gasoline tanks on a different, nearby rail segment of the bridge was later completely destroyed by fire.

Putin instructed a "government panel" to look into the "situation" involving the Kerch bridge in Crimea, according to Russian official media TASS.

An official in Crimea attributed the explosion to "Ukrainian vandals." Without taking responsibility for the tragedy themselves, some Ukrainian authorities bragged about it.