[00:00.00]Russian President Vladimir Putin has opened a new bridge linking southern Russia to Crimea.
[00:09.85]Putin drove a large truck Tuesday across the bridge, which Russia is calling the Crimean Bridge.
[00:19.31]Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
[00:25.56]The opening of the bridge drew immediate criticism from Ukraine, which has said the project violates international law.
[00:38.66]President Petro Poroshenko said the opening was an attempt by Russia "to legitimize the temporary occupation” of Crimea.
[00:50.92]Russian state television showed Putin - dressed in casual clothes - leading a group of trucks across the bridge.
[01:01.35]After reaching the Crimean side, he praised builders for their hard work.
[01:08.59]The efforts, he said, had made it possible for “this miracle” to be completed.
[01:16.52]The 19-kilometer bridge cost $3.6 billion to build.
[01:23.34]It links southern Russia to the Crimean city of Kerch.
[01:29.31]A railroad bridge is also being built and is due to be completed by the end of 2019.
[01:38.54]Russia’s annexation of Crimea was condemned by the international community.
[01:46.43]The European Union and United States placed economic sanctions on Russia for the action.
[01:54.73]As Putin was celebrating the bridge, a new report was published heavily criticizing Russia for its human rights record.
[02:05.46]Human Rights Watch published a report Tuesday called Russia: FIFA World Cup 2018 - Human Rights Guide for Reporters.
[02:18.19]The New York-based group says Russia will hold the upcoming FIFA World Cup championship during "the worst human rights crisis” since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
[02:31.73]Human Rights Watch urges FIFA to use its influence to bring up major human rights issues with Russian officials.
[02:43.00]Among the issues are labor rights abuses, restrictions on basic freedoms, internet censorship and attempting to silence rights activists.
[02:55.23]Hugh Williamson is Human Rights Watch’s director for Europe and Central Asia.
[03:02.54]He says the month-long World Cup can draw massive international attention to important issues outside of football.
[03:13.89]The new report aims to inform World Cup reporters about human rights abuses happening across Russia, he added.
[03:24.41]I’m Bryan Lynn.