It is well worth your time to watch the speech Putin makes at the end of his latest savvy publicity stunt.
With great political theater, Putin drives Russia's equivalent of a Mack truck across the bridge, to make his point. The full text of the speech follow below, but here are some choice bits:
"More than 10,000 people are working at this construction site, and at peak times the number exceeded 15,000. Almost 220 contractor companies are involved. In fact, the whole country worked on this bridge."
Putin is obviously emotionally moved by the event, which makes sense, because the bridge is an important symbol for the whole country.
States as different as the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union long dreamed of creating a bridge to link Crimea and Russia. The idea was always scrapped due to logistical constraints.
The significance of the Crimean bridge can be compared to the Trump proposed border wall separating the United States from Mexico.
We wrote before about how the historic project was nearing completion. And now the enormously difficult project creating the longest bridge in Europe is done in record time.
The cost of the bridge is about $4 billion. Its cost would be triple that in the West.
Transcript of the video. Speech transcript marked below:
The first part, not even part but the most important road.
I don't doubt that you will do everything and finish the truck section in autumn
and in one year time the railway section, everything with the highest quality and within the timeline.
Half a year before the deadline (they finished the motorway section). Excellent, you are great, thank you very much.
We did our best.
You were with us in March 2016 we sinked the first pile... it was scary because first piles needed 12-15 days
it was a bad weather
Yes, you were scared a little bit at the beginning...
Yes, we were scared at the beginning...
Now the land is below us? Yes, the land
I don't even remember this deadline... You did in in two years and 3 months
Everyone was working not for a salary but for his pride...
Good afternoon, dear friends.
My sincere congratulations on this wonderful historical event.
This is a truly historic day because in different historical eras, including during the tsars’ reign, people dreamed of building this bridge.
They came back to it in the 1930s, then the 1940s and the 1950s.
Finally, thanks to your hard work and talents, this project, this miracle has come true. Thank you very much.
I want to thank this project’s organisers, who, without exaggeration, put national interests above their personal and collective needs.
I want to thank the bomb disposal engineers, who were the first to start working here, as we have just mentioned,
as well as the environmentalists, archaeologists, scientists, designers, engineers and construction workers.
More than 10,000 people are working at this construction site, and at peak times the number exceeded 15,000.
Almost 220 contractor companies are involved. In fact, the whole country worked on this bridge.
This is an excellent result that has made Crimea and the legendary Sevastopol stronger and brought us closer.
The bridge will mean faster and greater progress for the economy of Crimea and Sevastopol, and will improve the quality of life here.
We will continue to work on similar projects across the country.
And when I say across the country, I mean it. We will build more roads, bridges, airports and ports.
We will make our peoples’ lives better and more comfortable.
And we will succeed by all means because we have outstanding and talented people like you.
Congratulations to everybody and good luck.
You are the best people and the best builders. Thank you very much.
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