Vladimir Putin To Open Mega Bridge Linking Crimea To Russia

Russian

Russian President Vladimir Putin drove a Kamaz truck across a brand new, controversial bridge to Crimea without wearing a seat belt, which an observer noted is against the law in Russia.

Putin, at the wheel of a heavy KAMAZ truck, drove the full 19 km across the bridge from the Kerch Strait, which some Russians call "Putin's bridge" and which is created to link Crimea into Russia's transport network.

Due to the blocks imposed by Kiev and Western sanctions, a large amount of food is now transported to the peninsula from Russian Federation by ship, meaning the bridge will play an important role in reducing the region's reliance on sea transport.

Ukraine has condemned the project, saying construction has damaged the environment and that larger ships will be unable to get through to its ports on the Azov Sea.

Putin saw a surge in popularity following the action on Crimea and commissioned his judo sparring partner, construction mogul Arkady Rotenberg, to build the bridge.


Another unsuccessful attempt was made in the 1930s under Joseph Stalin.

The EU restrictive measures, which include visa bans and asset freezes, have now been applied against 150 individuals and 38 entities responsible for encroachment on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. During World War II the occupying Nazis also began building a bridge, but abandoned the project.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is attending the opening ceremony on Tuesday whereas the bridge will start regular operations beginning Wednesday.

Ukraine, which along with most of the global community has not recognised Russia's annexation of Crimea, condemned the project which was personally championed by Putin.

The 12-mile road and rail bridge is the only land link between Russia with the Black Sea peninsula, seized by Russian forces from Ukraine in 2014.

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