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Putin Opens Bridge Linking Russia to Crimea

2018-05-16

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[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.
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