Russia-Crimea bridge opened by Vladimir Putin


Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled a 19-kilometer (12-mile) bridge connecting southern Russia to the Crimean peninsula on Tuesday.

Russian Federation annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and has since been trying to integrate the peninsula more closely.

Such a bridge was first proposed under the last Tsar Nicholas II before World War I broke out, preventing it going ahead.

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

The controversial Crimean Bridge links the southern Krasnodar region with the Crimean city of Kerch and spans across a stretch of water between the Black Sea and the Azov Sea.

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The European Union also slammed what it called a fresh assault on Ukraine's territorial integrity.

British Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Alan Duncan considers Russia's opening of the Kerch Bridge to the Crimean Peninsula without Kyiv's consent yet another violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and stressed concern over violations of human rights on the peninsula.

Earlier this year, the Ukrainian state television network the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine said that they would not be broadcasting matches in Russian Federation.

The works on the construction have begun in May 2015, regardless the withdrawal.

Meanwhile, the bridge's feline mascot - Mostik the cat - helped take the edge of the politically fraught project by beating Putin across the bridge a day earlier, Newsweek reported. When a worker at the site told him in March as cameras rolled that the roadway was slated to open by the end of this year, Putin responded: "Can it be done by May?" The construction of its railway section continues, its opening is scheduled for 2019. And they tried later - nothing worked out. The government's push to pour money into Crimea will mean even fewer funds for projects elsewhere, said Dmitry Oreshkin, a Moscow political analyst. After Ukrainian complaints Russian naval and Federal Security Service (FSB) vessels were stopping and searching ships passing through the Kerch Strait, Russia eventually acknowledged doing so in response to Ukraine's seizure of the fishing vessel and arrest of its crew.