Skip to Content

The Kerch Strait Bridge, Wikipedia

Russian leader roars over new bridge to Crimea

The Crimean Bridge has been finished six months early. On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin hopped into a bright orange truck to open the 19-kilometer bridge,  the longest in Europe, beating the Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon, Portugal.

Published: May 15, 2018, 9:52 pm

    Read more

    The Russian president drove a similar orange Kamaz truck over the bridge. Photo from Kamaz Engines

    According to a Kremlin statement, the bridge will be open to traffic on May 16. In the past it was difficult to reach the peninsula. From southern Russia long queues of vehicles had waited to board ferries, which stopped during winter storms. The easiest mode of transportation was by air.

    Food supplies to Crimea previously had to be shipped in. Now the bridge will play an important role in reducing the region’s reliance on sea transport. The four lanes of automobile traffic can accommodate 14 million people crossing per year.

    The Russian president saw his approval ratings soaring above 80 per cent with Crimea’s referendum to rejoin Russia. But the Russian company Stroygazmontazh that won the construction contract, was targeted for US and EU sanctions after Western powers denounced the reunification.

    President Putin, dressed casually, praised the dilligent workers when he arrived at the other end. “I congratulate you on this historic holiday. It’s historic because in different epochs, back in the times of our father the tsar, people dreamed about building this bridge. Finally thanks to your talent and work, this project, this wonder, has been completed.”

    Some 15 000 workers were employed on the 27-month project spanning the notoriously windy Kerch Strait. The 6 000-tonne twin central arches was constructed on shore and then moved into place by boats. A twin railway bridge has been scheduled to open in December 2019.

    The president said the bridge would give “the economy of Crimea…new momentum” and “raise people’s living standards”. He added: “We will go on working on similar projects throughout the entire country.”

    The Russian leader, who in the past had successfully manned a fighter jet, an ultralight aircraft, a minisubmarine, and a fast moving racing truck, smiled and looked relaxed at the wheel of the orange Kamaz.

    EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini’s spokeswoman complained that the construction of the bridge “constitutes another violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Russia”.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Nigerians terrorize Italian city

    PaduaThe Nigerian mafia has been busy in the Italian city of Padua. In less than 24 hours there were two violent episodes in the city center, and as always on via Diego Valeri.

    France: 41 percent ‘ignore’ news

    A survey carried out for a newspaper shows a growing distrust of the French towards the media.

    Gang rapes: Number of foreign suspects in Germany increasing

    BerlinThe proportion of foreign suspects in gang rapes in Germany has increased significantly in the past five years. This is despite the fact that the total number of suspects decreased between 2015 and 2017.

    Candidate recruits people of  ‘Turkish origin’ for French municipal elections

    Given the extent of the controversy, Mohamed Dine has now deleted his ad, previously posted on his Facebook page.

    Charlie Hebdo also defended pedophilia

    ParisLike part of the libertarian left at the time, the satirical newspaper supported three pedophile criminals, accused of having abused minors, before they were sentenced in 1977.

    Conservative German author’s reading cancelled in Dresden

    DresdenGerman author Uwe Tellkamp had his reading cancelled. It was not because of a lack of public interest, illness of the organiser or an important participant, or official orders for violations of the fire protection regulations. No, it had to be canceled because the author has a certain opinion.

    Pedophile personalities shake up French literary scene

    ParisThe French writer Gabriel Matzneff who has been accused by the novelist Vanessa Springora of pedophilia, benefits from low-cost housing in the heart of Paris which was allocated to him in 1994. Some other sordid facts about him and his friends have resurfaced.

    AfD sues German domestic spy agency over tracking

    BerlinThe AfD intends to take legal action against the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the domestic spy agency.

    Dispute over German broadcaster’s “environmental pig” song continues

    CologneSeveral editors from German public broadcaster WDR have accused director Tom Buhrow of harming the broadcaster with the so-called "environmental pig" affair. On Tuesday there will therefore be an editorial meeting in which Buhrow will also take part.

    Cars in flames all over France at the start of the New Year

    The car-burnings in France continue. There were burnt cars in Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Limoges, Nantes and other cities.

    Go to archive