- Title: Celebrations in Crimea greet first train to use rail route from Russia
- Date: 25th December 2019
- Summary: PEOPLE APPLAUDING
- Embargoed: 8th January 2020 13:17
- Keywords: Crimea bridge Crimea pennisula Crimea rail link Crimea train Russia-Ukraine annexation of Crimea first train from Russia to Crimea
- Location: SIMFEROPOL, BETWEEN SIMFEROPOL AND SEVASTOPOL, SEVASTOPOL AND KERCH, CRIMEA
- City: SIMFEROPOL, BETWEEN SIMFEROPOL AND SEVASTOPOL, SEVASTOPOL AND KERCH, CRIMEA
- Country: Crimea
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA005BBH4HTL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The first passengers of a rail route linking Russia's two biggest cities to Crimea, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014, arrived to celebrations at Sevastopol's train station on Wednesday (December 25).
Passengers said they were excited to be the first to arrive from Russia to Crimea on the train, and were also pleased by the warm welcome which featured singing and dancing on the platform.
The train started in St Petersburg on Monday (December 23) and used a road and rail bridge which Russian engineers built to link Crimea to southern Russia after an earlier pre-annexation route which ran through Ukraine was shut down.
Construction of the bridge, which is 19 km (11.8 miles) long, was opposed by Ukraine which says it wants the Black Sea peninsula back. The Kremlin has ruled out returning Crimea.
The bridge, likely to be viewed as an important part of Putin's legacy, was designed to integrate Crimea into Russia's economy and to end its relative isolation by allowing Russia to supply it by road and rail as well as by sea and air.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday the new rail route would carry around 14 million passengers and about 13 million tonnes of freight next year as he inaugurated the start of the passenger route.
(Production: Anastasia Adasheva)
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