Putin Drives a Truck over New Crimea Bridge, Army of Trucks Follow

Officially, it is called the Kerch Strait bridge. Kremlin-backed Russian media has nicknamed it “the construction of the century.” In reality, it is a 19-kilometer (11.8 miles) roadway that links mainland Russia to what is internationally perceived to be illegal occupied Crimea.
Vladimir Putin Gettin ready to drive over Crimea bridge 8 photos
Photo: Sputnik
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One part of the bridge was officially opened to traffic on Tuesday. When it is ready, it is expected to support the passing of up to 40,000 cars a day and transport an estimated 14 million passengers and 13 million tons of cargo per year.

The inauguration of the bridge section took place with all the fanfare required by the occasion, especially because it was completed several months in advance, at the Kremlin’s request.

The mastermind behind the annexation of Crimea back in 2014, when thousands of little green men invaded the Ukrainian province, Vladimir Putin, was of course on deck for the occasion.

In a symbolic gesture meant to wow the millions of his followers, the Russian president climbed aboard an orange Kamaz truck and, with other similar trucks of various colors trailing behind, started to roll down the brand new tarmac.

"Putin initiated this project himself. Many didn't believe these plans were possible," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by Sputnik. "This is an extremely important day from this point of view and in a practical sense and symbolic terms."

Geographically, the new bridge is the single land connection between the bulk of Russia and the peninsula in the Black Sea. Until now, if Russians wanted to go in Crimea, they had to either take a boat or pass through Ukraine.

The idea of shortening the route through such a bridge in the region is not new. It has first been proposed by the British government in 1870, as part of a railroad connecting England to India.

Nazi Albert Speer, the lead German architect during the second world war, also toyed with the idea in 1943, as a means to help German forces deliver a stunning blow to the Red Army in the North Caucasus.

One year later, the advancing Red Army used materials left behind by their foes to erect a 4.5-kilometer (2.8 miles) bridge to help them chase the enemy Krauts.

When they were still friends, back in 1994, Russia and Ukraine tried to work together on a bridge project, but this idea failed too.

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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