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Putin visits Crimea to mark 2 years since annexation

President Vladimir Putin visted Crimea on March 18, 2016, two years after Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula from UkrainePresident Vladimir Putin visited Crimea on Friday as Russia marked two years since annexing the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine in a move that dramatically damaged its ties with the West. The Kremlin strongman stopped over on the island of Tuzla to oversee progress on a $3-billion (2.66-billion-euro) bridge project connecting Russia to Crimea, a key link that Moscow hopes will further bind it to the isolated region. Putin said the bridge’s construction — which he called a “historical mission” — should be completed by December 2018, and that the first direct link to the mainland was essential for bolstering Crimea’s struggling economy.

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