Western analysts think Vladimir Putin is getting ready to intensify his assault on Ukraine after a massive explosion struck his bridge to Crimea.
Any assault on the Kerch Strait would cross a red line and result in "judgement day," the Kremlin had warned.
Three people were killed
the blast on the 12-mile bridge early on Saturday morning, which also severed a vital supply line for Russian forces battling on the southern front of Ukraine.
Even while Russian authorities claimed they anticipated a forceful response, as of Saturday evening,
the Kremlin had simply announced that it would strengthen its defences surrounding the bridge.
On Saturday morning, Putin called an urgent meeting of his cabinet.
Alexander Bashkin, a senator from Russia, claimed that "this was a declaration of war without norms," adding that the Kremlin's response would be "appropriate, conscious, and, potentially, asymmetric."