Start your engines: Putin driving truck, opens newly-built Crimean Bridge

Russian

Start your engines: Putin driving truck, opens newly-built Crimean Bridge

Head of the Crimean bridge construction Alexander Ostrovsky, the director of SGM-Most - the general contractor for the construction Stroygazmontazh subsidiary, sat next to Mr. Putin in a vehicle cabin.

Opening the bridge across the Kerch Strait is in fact an attempt to legitimize the annexation of part of Ukraine's sovereign territory against the backdrop of Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine and the temporary occupation of the Crimean peninsula, the ministry said.

The new bridge from Russian Federation to the annexed peninsula Crimea opened on Tuesday six months ahead of schedule.

Russian President Vladimir Putin drove a truck across a new bridge connecting mainland Russia to Moscow-annexed Crimea Tuesday, a project Ukraine has condemned as a violation of global law.

The 19-km bridge is the largest in Russian Federation built so far. Ukraine, the United States and the European Union refused to recognize the independence of Crimea and its reunification with Russian Federation.

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

The bridge will make the peninsula easier to reach from southern Russian Federation. The rail section is expected to be completed at the end of 2019.

Once it opens for traffic on Wednesday, it will be able to carry up to 40,000 cars per day.

The construction is one of Putin's legacy projects, after the massive renovation of the Black Sea city of Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2012 opening of the world's longest cable-stayed bridge in the far eastern city of Vladivostok.

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