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Vladimir Putin opens controversial Russia-Crimea bridge

17 May, 2018, 01:15 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Putin opens Russian bridge linking it to annexed Crimea as he boasts that he has managed 'what the tsars could not'

The focus on Putin's role, however, also hinted at a less flattering reality: the untold number of poor roads, railroads and bridges across the country that don't benefit from the president's personal patronage.

For the event, Putin got behind the wheel of a bright orange Kamaz truck to lead a convoy of dump trucks, cranes and other equipment toward the Crimean city of Kerch, according to TASS. Some Russians are calling it "Putin's bridge", created to link Crimea into Russia's transport network.

Costing $3.6 billion, the bridge was a huge undertaking in terms of engineering and price.

"We shall not ask for anybody's permission to build transport infrastructure for the sake of Russia's population", the Russian embassy said on Twitter.

The Ukrainian side has withdrawn from the treaty with Russian Federation on the construction of the bridge in 2014 after the annexation of Crimea.

Ayder Ismailov, deputy chairman of the Spiritual Board of Muslims of the Republic of Crimea, said: "Crimea and probably the entire Russian Federation celebrate two holidays - and beginning of Ramadan and opening of the Crimean bridge".

Those sanctions remain in place, and have expanded in the wake of Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential elections.

The inauguration of the bridge section took place with all the fanfare required by the occasion, especially because it was completed several months in advance, at the Kremlin's request.

"Putin initiated this project himself. Many didn't believe these plans were possible", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. "Let me remind you, on my behalf to the Arbitration Tribunal of the UN Convention on the law of the sea was filed on protecting the sovereign interests of Ukraine, in particular, in connection with the illegal construction of the bridge Kerch", - said Poroshenko.

The bridge opening represents a milestone in Putin's efforts to show the world - and his people - that the annexation of Crimea was irreversible.

Construction workers also have given Mostik a small hard hat. Crimea's only other land crossing leads into Ukraine and, until now, vehicles traveling from Russian Federation have had to rely on ferries across the strait that are frequently interrupted by bad weather.

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