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Putin opens Crimean Bridge
15 May 2018, 07:24 | Glen Norman
EPA OLIVIER HOSLET
Russian President Vladimir Putin, driving a truck, unveiled the auto section of a new road-and-rail bridge linking Russia to the annexed Crimean peninsula on Tuesday, defying Ukraine which said the move showed cynical disregard for global law.
"The Russian occupying powers, which have temporarily occupied Crimea, are continuing to act outside global law", Volodymyr told the French news agency.
The chief editor of the Kremlin-funded channel, Margarita Simonyan, wrote on Twitter that "Kiev made a decision to take revenge on us for the Crimean Bridge", after the raids on the offices of RIA Novosti state news agency, which is part of the same media group as RT.
Ukraine has also previously complained that the construction has damaged the environment and that larger ships will be unable to get through to its ports on the Azov Sea.
On Monday evening Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the Kommersant newspaper that it would be "hard to imagine that such a colossal construction project would open without the president".
The bridge's construction is hugely controversial, not only because most United Nations countries still recognize Crimea as Ukrainian territory-despite it being under Russian control-but also because it obstructs the waterways that link three other Ukrainian regions to the Black Sea.
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Originally, the bridge was expected to be built before 2018 and put into operation in the summer of 2019.
Up to 40,000 cars a day may cross the bridge travelling at a speed of up to 120 km per hour. A connecting highway from Kerch to the regional capital of Simferopol is set for completion in 2020. It is also created to withstand ice floes in winter.
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