Putin to open massive bridge linking Crimea to Russian Federation

Putin to open massive bridge linking Crimea to Russian Federation

Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to unveil Tuesday a highly symbolic bridge linking southern Russia to the Crimea, four years after the peninsula was annexed from Ukraine.

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. In 2010, when he held the post of Russia's prime minister, Putin traveled several hundred kilometers along the Chita-Khabarovsk road in a Lada-Kalina vehicle.

"And finally, thanks to your work, your talent, this project, this miracle happened!" Petro Poroshenko, the president of Ukraine posted this on Facebook.

"The illegal construction of the Kerch bridge is another evidence of the contempt for global law by the Kremlin".

"It is particularly cynical that its opening is happening on the eve of the latest anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean-Tatar people by the Stalin regime".

On Tuesday, Putin traveled to southern Russian Federation to inspect the construction site and to lead the opening ceremony for the bridge.

After Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014, the peninsula found itself between a rock and a hard place.

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The opening ceremony drew criticism from the West.

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.

"This constitutes another violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity by Russian Federation", said a statement by a spokesperson for the office of the European Union's foreign policy service. "This constitutes another violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity by Russian Federation", the European Union said.

Many in Russia saw the bridge as a move toward restoring Moscow's rule over a historically Russian region.

Ukraine has condemned the project, which cost 228 billion rubles ($3.7 billion).

Kerch bridge will definitely need the invaders, when they to flee Crimea, says the Ukrainian President.

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