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Russia Restores Rail Traffic on Controversial Crimean Bridge

Trains crossing the Crimean Bridge.

Russia on Friday announced the full restoration of rail traffic on the controversial Crimean Bridge, which had been closed and under repair since it was badly damaged in an explosion in October.

“We managed to finish this work in just seven months. During normal times, it would certainly take over a year, and maybe even around two or three,” Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin said. 

Moscow has always blamed Kyiv for the attack on the bridge, which links the Moscow-annexed Crimean peninsula to mainland Russia. Kyiv has denied any involvement in the attack, however.

Khusnullin said the speedy repairs, during which construction crews reportedly worked around the clock, allowed the rail tracks to open ahead of schedule. 

Russian authorities fully restored road traffic on the bridge in February, an announcement that coincided with the one-year anniversary of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. 

The bridge — which cost $3.7 billion to build and was personally inaugurated by Putin in 2018 —  is a vital link for supplying military equipment to Russian troops fighting in Ukraine.

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