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Russian Students Asked to Help Build Kremlin's Kerch Bridge to Crimea

Kerch bridge

Students at Russia's most prestigious university are being asked to spend a semester building the Kremlin's flagship Kerch bridge to Crimea.

Russia's Federal Road Agency is searching for “motivated students” from Moscow State University to join the project.

The program, which will see “trainees” work alongside engineers for eight hours a day, has the full support of MSU rector Viktor Sadovnichy.

Students will be given an “invaluable experience,” picking up the basics of bridge building, sorting and storing materials, and preparing paperwork, Rosavtodor said in a press release.

The tradition of sending university students to participate in mass building projects or agricultural work was a mainstay of the Soviet education system and persisted until the late 1980s.

Eighty-seven students from six Russian universities also worked on the bridge in the summer of 2016, traveling from as far afield as Tyumen and Irkutsk.

Stretching just over 19 kilometers, Russia's Kerch bridge is set to link the annexed Crimean peninsula to the Russian mainland. 

Stroygazmontazh, the building company owned by Putin's judo partner, Arkady Rotenberg, won the contract to build the bridge in February 2015. The contract is worth more than 228 billion rubles ($4 billion).

Both the bridge and the railway which runs across it are scheduled to become fully operational in December 2018.

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