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Putin Officially Opens Massive Bridge Linking Crimea To Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 15 officially unveiled a 19-kilometer-long road bridge linking the annexed Crimean Peninsula with Russian territories across the Kerch Strait. Construction of the bridge, which can carry up to 40,000 cars a day, started in 2016. It was originally expected to open in December but was finished ahead of schedule. A railway bridge is due to be completed by the end of 2019.

Ukraine has condemned the project, which cost 228 billion rubles ($3.7 billion). Sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States have targeted those involved in the bridge, including businessman Arkady Rotenberg, a close Putin ally whose company won the construction contract.

The bridge surpasses the Vasco de Gama bridge in Portugal as the longest in Europe.

(Gallery updated on May 15, 2018)​