Trucker Putin opens Russian Federation bridge link with annexed Crimea

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"And finally, thanks to your work and your talent, the miracle has happened".

"The illegal construction of the Kerch bridge is another evidence of the contempt for worldwide law by the Kremlin".

'It's especially cynical that the bridge is opened shortly before the anniversary of the 1944 deportation of Crimean Tatars, conducted by the Stalinist regime (May 18, 1944 - 112 International)', he wrote.

He got behind the wheel in the cabin of a Kamaz truck to lead a convoy of 35 vehicles (dump trucks, cranes, cement trucks, tanker trucks and other equipment) along the 19-kilometer bridge towards the Crimean seaside city of Kerch.

The annexation of the peninsula in 2014 was condemned by Kiev and the West as an illegal land grab but applauded in Russian Federation.

The Russian president attended the symbolic opening ceremony on Tuesday, dressed in jeans and a windbreaker, instead of his usual business suit. "This constitutes another violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity by Russian Federation", the European Union said.

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"Let me remind you, on my behalf to the Arbitration Tribunal of the UN Convention on the law of the sea was filed on protecting the sovereign interests of Ukraine, in particular, in connection with the illegal construction of the bridge Kerch", - said Poroshenko.

The Russian leader, who was re-elected for a fourth Kremlin term in March extending his long rule, then pledged to build more of "such projects" across Russia.

Built at a cost of 223 billion roubles ($3.60 billion), the bridge will be the longest dual-purpose span in Europe.

Putin, whose popularity rose drastically after Russian Federation invaded and occupied Crimea in the spring of 2014, personally oversaw the project, which started in 2015. "Many didn't believe these plans were possible", Kremlin spokesman told reporters on Tuesday ahead of the ceremony.

The four-lane road bridge is opening ahead of schedule as it was due to be completed in December.