Bridge between Crimea and mainland Russia inaugurated

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Publication Date May 2018
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A bridge was inaugurated on 15 May 2018 between Crimea and mainland Russia, over the Kerch Strait. The construction of this infrastructure was expected to consolidate Russia's grip on the territory following the annexation of Crimea.

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The opening of the bridge was led by Russia's President Vladimir Putin. The 12-mile (19km) bridge is the only direct road link to the peninsula from Russia's mainland, which should reinforce the country's control over the territory, annexed from Ukraine in 2014 - a move not recognised by most international stakeholders.

The construction of a bridge connecting the two regions is an idea dating back to the Tsar period, then not made effective due to the outbreak of the First World War. Another attempt was later made by Josef Stalin in the 1930s and by occupying Nazis during the Second World War, but both projects were ultimately abandoned. The construction of the bridge was condemned by Ukraine, arguing that the infrastructure would also prevent large ships from passing through to the country's ports on the Sea of Azov.

Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
CNN, 15.05.18: Russia's bridge to Crimea: A metaphor for the Putin era
Euro|topics, May 2018: Russia opens Crimean Bridge

The Guardian, 15.05.18: Putin opens 12-mile bridge between Crimea and Russian mainland
Euronews, 15.05.18: Putin drives truck across new Russia-Crimea bridge
EurActiv, 16.05.18: Putin opens new bridge to Crimea, provoking Ukraine, Western ire
EUObserver, 16.05.18: Putin opens bridge linking Russia to annexed Crimea
Sputnik International, 15.05.18: Opening Ceremony of Crimean Bridge in Russia
Sputnik International, 16.05.18: Moscow Responds to Washington's Remarks on Crimean Bridge Opening

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