World Putin made a show of crossing the new Crimea bridge. But he was upstaged by a cat.

03:05  17 may  2018
03:05  17 may  2018 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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But he was upstaged by a cat . by Alex Horton by Alex Horton Email the author May 16 at 1:40 PM Email the author. President Vladimir Putin 's handlers had thought of nearly everything for the christening of a billion bridge linking Russia to Crimea .

Russian President Vladimir Putin looked set to be the first to cross the controversial multibillion bridge linking Russia to Crimea —but a cat seems to have beaten him to it. Putin drove across the newly built bridge to Crimea —a territory Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014—to officially open its road lanes

Russian President Vladimir Putin.© Reuters Russian President Vladimir Putin. President Vladimir Putin's handlers had thought of nearly everything for the christening of a $4 billion bridge linking Russia to Crimea.

Dressed in blue jeans and ditching his tie, Putin jumped into the driver's seat of an orange dump truck Tuesday and drove across the bridge with cameras recording every move.

One camera in the cab of the truck captured his small talk with a construction worker who was along for the ride and broadcast it across state media.

The imagery was deliberate: Putin was sealing his disputed 2014 annexation of Crimea with a project strongly condemned as illegal by the West.

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' Putin 's bridge ' in Crimea . Opinion polls show Putin is far ahead of his rivals in the run-up to the presidential election. She even filed a lawsuit to remove Putin from the race, arguing that he doesn't have the right under the constitution to seek a fourth term.

Russian President Vladimir Putin toured the construction site of the bridge which will connect Crimea with mainland Russia. The ginger cat mascot of the bridge , named Mostik, or Little Bridge in Russian, came to see what all the fuss was about.

He inaugurated the bridge, 12 miles of concrete and steel over the Black Sea's Kerch Strait, by leading the first-ever convoy from Russia into Crimea — an industrial and cultural show of force.

There was one hitch: Putin was actually beaten across the bridge.

Not by saboteurs or protesters or a stage-stealing, fate-sealing politician — but by the orange-and-white cat that roamed the bridge the day before.

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Advertisement. show ad. Putin binds Crimea to Russia: 250-yard archway that will form centrepiece of 12-mile bridge linking the two regions is Tom Hardy fishes with a RIFLE as he transfors into Al Capone in first pictures from New Orleans set of Fonzo Even the fishes are sleeping with the fishes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday drove a truck across a new bridge linking mainland Russia to Moscow-annexed Crimea , triggering a fierce reaction from Kiev. Another unsuccessful attempt was made in the 1930s under Joseph Stalin.

Mostik, the adopted mascot of construction workers in the project, boasted to his nearly 35,000 Instagram followers Monday he had already traversed the bridge, a full day before Putin's first crossing.

“First to run the 19 kilometers [12 miles]. Everything is ready! Tomorrow I will ceremonially open the bridge with the builders and the president!” the cat's caption read. “And starting May 16 you can come yourselves, who's coming? ;)”

It is not clear whether Mostik's handlers coordinated with officials at Putin's carefully managed public event.

At the bridge, Putin signed autographs, shook hands with workers and offered remarks, as, in another odd moment, a saxophone-heavy rendition of the “Rocky” theme song blared from the speakers. The plot of “Rocky IV” involves an embarrassing defeat of the Soviet Union's premier boxer, Ivan Drago, in the midst of the Cold War.

The bridge, an ambitious project criticized by the State Department and described as “another violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Russia” by the European Union, is the newest lucrative operation for Putin's closest allies.

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Well, there is going to be built a Kerch bridge from Russia to Crimea which has been given a green signal by the President Putin and this bridge would not only provide But, the Soviets attacked the bridge to make the Germans retreat. But, the bridge actually got built once the Crimea got liberated.

He opened the longest bridge in Russia, uniting the Crimean peninsula with “the continent”. Here’s how it happened – watch every single step Putin made while opening the bridge .

Arkady Rotenberg, a Russian business mogul and Putin's former judo partner, led the project. The orange dump truck driven by the president was a Kamaz truck — manufactured by a state-owned company headed by Sergey Chemezov, Putin’s KGB colleague in East Germany in the 1980s.

Both Rotenberg and Chemezov are under U.S. sanctions.

The bridge is a permanent fixture looming over tensions with Ukraine. Putin annexed Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula in the Black Sea, in 2014 after claiming ethnic Russians in the region were threatened by Ukraine’s pro-Western revolution.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement the bridge was the manifestation of Russia's “unlawful seizure and its occupation of Crimea” and will adversely affect commerce.

The West and much of the world considers the annexation illegitimate, though many Russians view it as Putin's crowning achievement. In 1954, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred control of Crimea from Russia to Ukraine, and regaining the region has been a nationalist rallying cry for decades.

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WATCH Putin inaugurates bridge by driving a truck across to seized peninsula Crimea . 0 Shares. A camera in the truck’s cabin showed a pleased-looking Putin bouncing in his seat as he drove and making small talk with two workers.

The bridge to the Crimea will be the longest in Russia - the bridge across the Kerch Straight "There is only one way out - one needs to extend the holiday season and create year-round accommodation facilities," he said. Putin made Russia become larger as a result of the Crimean referendum.

The bridge project began a year after the annexation and was built without consent from Kiev. Mostik, the cat, has played a key role in spinning the bridge as a feel-good Russian enterprise.

State-owned Sputnik News described Mostik as an honorary foreman adopted as a stray in 2015 and said he has since become friendly with some of the thousands of construction workers there.

His social media presence spans across Facebook, Instagram and the Russian social media network VKontakte, where photos of the cat, wearing a tiny hard hat, litter the channels.

a close up of a map© Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post Mostik's public relations campaign, however, has not spun many in Ukraine.

“I am confident that the aggressor will not succeed and will bear responsibility in full,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Facebook, referring to Russia. “The invaders will need the bridge when they have to urgently leave our Crimea.”

The bridge is symbolic in other ways, too.

As The Washington Post's Anton Troianovski wrote, it also underscores the enrichment of Putin allies at the cost of decaying bridges, roads and railroads throughout Russia that have not been recipients of his personal patronage.

The World Bank ranks the quality of Russia’s trade and transport infrastructure at 94th in the world, just behind Tunisia and ahead of Colombia.

The bridge can support up to 40,000 passenger cars a day, becoming the quickest way to reach Crimea, a popular vacation and tourist destination for Russians.

Previously, the only way to reach the peninsula was by plane or ferry. The railroad section of the bridge is expected to be finished by the end of 2019.

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