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Bridge connecting mainland Russia to Crimea hours away from opening

The bridge will join mainland Russia, to Russian Crimea, which was previously connected by land only with Ukraine

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The Crimean Bridge, which will finally join mainland Russia from Krasnodarsky Krai, to the Kerch region of Crimea is about to be finished. The bridge spans the Kerch Strait, not far from the beautiful pink salt lakes.

According to RT:

Construction of the bridge, the longest in Russia with a span of 19 kilometers, has been carried out since February 2016, and it is opening for cars more than half a year ahead of schedule.

The bridge capacity is 40,000 cars and 47 pairs of trains per day, 14 million passengers and 13 million tons of cargo per year. The railway section is scheduled to open in early 2019, the bridge will be opened for trucks starting from October of this year.

RT also notes that:

“Each pillar of the bridge needs about 400 tons of metal structures, which means that all pillars need as much iron as 32 Eiffel towers. The bridge’s piles are installed at least 90 meters under water.”

In 2014, the people of Crimea exercised their right to self-determination, and voted to rejoin Russia, which Ukraine too, was once a part of. This was heavily motivated by the events in Ukraine, after the Maidan coup. The people of Crimea saw the dangerous rise of Nazism in the Ukraine, such as when innocent people were burned alive in Odessa, by neo-Nazis. We covered this extensively in this article, which is highly recommended for those that wish to understand what happened, and what was one of the many motivations for the Crimean return to Russia.

A Brief History of Crimea and Russia

It is worth saying that Crimeans did not betray Ukraine, nor their homeland, as all of Ukraine was once a key part of Russia. Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus are descended from Kievan Rus’, the first East Slavic state. Russia is the largest successor of Kievan Rus’, so if anything, Crimeans simply returned to their own people – Russians – while brother Ukrainians were tearing each other apart.

The three peoples were divided after the Mongol invasion of 1240, into feudal principalities, and much of Ukraine fell under the control of Lithuania and Poland after 1360.

Crimea and southern Ukraine, however, were part of the Wild Fields, where Tatars ruled, and Crimea was once the capital of a Tatar Khanate, and before that, a Greek city.

By 1654, Cossacks of Hetman Bogdan Khmelnitsky lead a successful uprising against Poland, and reunited Ukraine with Russia.

These Cossacks mostly lived in what has been called in varying times, Hetmanshina, or the area around the Dnipro River, from as far north as Kiev, down to their fortress in Zhaporozhia, meaning “Beyond the Rapids (of the Dnipro). Many fled from Polish rule to these “Wild Fields Beyond the Rapids”, leaving Little Russia, and going into a new land, not unlike the American or Canadian frontier.

Traditional Little Russia in yellow, note how it excludes southern Ukraine and Crimea (New Russia), as well as Western Ukraine (Galicia and Volyn)

The area around Kiev, Poltava, and Chernigov, however, was the former heartland of Rus’. It was located south of the heartland of the Russian Empire, but north of the Wild Fields. It was called Little Russia, and the people, Little Russians. The term Ukraine, originally simply meaning borderland, was popularized by the Austro-Hungarian Empire as a means of dividing the Rus’ people, however, generally speaking, Little Russian=Ukrainian.

After the reunification of Little Russia, the Cossacks would help the Russian Empire liberate all of modern-day southern Ukraine, from Turkish and Tatar forces. The Cossacks (Little Russians) settled this new land, together with standard Russians. They called the land in the Wild Fields “New Russia” – Novorossia, to distinguish it from Little Russia, and because it was a newly liberated Russian land, not strongly connected to Old Rus’, or Little Russia.

It was in New Russia, that the major cities were built by Empress Catherine the Great, including Odessa, Mikolaiv, (New) Kherson, and the Crimean cities of Sevastopol (built beside ancient Greek Old Kherson) and Simferopol.

As a result of the fact, that New Russia was previously occupied by the Turkic forces, and had no major Slavic cities prior to the Great Russian liberation, the area was settled by many Russians coming directly from Russia, as opposed to Little Russians (Ukrainians) who had developed their own sub-culture to the north and west.

This is not to say Ukrainian people never lived in New Russia, but the area has always had a strong Ethnic Russian presence. This is reflected by the linguistic and ethnic divide in Ukraine; South-Eastern Ukraine is very Russian. While Ukrainians themselves, can be considered a sub-ethnos of the broader Rus’ people, the inhabitants of New Russia are more directly, and recently tied to modern Russia, than other parts of Ukraine.

While Little Russia was developing a slightly different local culture, like that between Sicily and Italy, New Russia was immediately settled by standard Russians, who spoke the standard Russian language.

Crimea especially, is extremely Russian, as the peninsula was given to Soviet Ukraine by Khruschyov in 1954, though it’s worth noting that all Ukraine save for the west, was part of Russia as 37 years prior to that. Still, Crimea was closer to Russia, than to Ukraine in almost every way, save for physical connection.

It is hard to speak of Ukraine as a nation, it is rather a combination of different historical lands

The peninsula is only joined by land via Ukraine, and since the Crisis, travel could be difficult. The Ukrainian SBY in neighboring Kherson, even put up billboards saying they would “cure” people of Russophilia.

Crimeans were, therefore, after their vote to join Russia, cut off from rest of mainland Russia, and forced to travel directly to their own country by boat or plain. With this new bridge, a permanent physical bond will join the Crimean peninsula to the Russian Federation, just as the people were always joined in their hearts.

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Former Hillary Clinton Advisor: She’s Running Again in 2020

Clinton admitted that while she doesn’t want to run again — she would “like to be president.”

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Via The Gateway Pundit…


Hillary Clinton’s former adviser Mark Penn is warning the public that we should brace ourselves for another run from the power hungry sore loser in 2020.

Penn co-wrote in a Sunday op-ed for the Wall Street Journal that she “won’t let a little thing like two stunning defeats stand in the way of her claim to the White House.”

“True to her name, Mrs. Clinton will fight this out until the last dog dies,” the op-ed that Penn authored with Andrew Stein claims. “She won’t let a little thing like two stunning defeats stand in the way of her claim to the White House.”

Like a cockroach that just won’t die, or the final boss in a video game that keeps obnoxiously coming back after each defeat — Clinton just won’t go away.

Penn said that by “reinventing herself as a liberal firebrand, Mrs. Clinton will easily capture the 2020 nomination.”

“You can expect her to run for president once again,” he said. “Maybe not at first, when the legions of Senate Democrats make their announcements, but definitely by the time the primaries are in full swing.”

Last month, Clinton admitted that while she doesn’t want to run again — she would “like to be president.”

Even some of her closest allies want her to give it a rest though.

“She’s more likely to win Powerball,” Philippe Reines, Clinton’s longtime adviser, told The Hill.

While nobody really wants to hear that woman’s voice ever again — at least the right can recycle all their best memes from 2016.

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Khashoggi’s Last Words Revealed As Turkish Media Plans To Publish Audio Death Tape

“I can confirm they sat next to one another and they discussed the ongoing tragic situation with Khashoggi,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

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Via Zerohedge


A day after President Tayyip Erdogan dropped the latest bombshell related to the Saudi murder of Jamal Khashoggi, saying Turkey had handed over an audio recording of the journalist’s brutal slaying inside the Istanbul consulate to the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Germany, France and Britain, the contents of Khashoggi’s last words have emerged.

Editor for the the Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah, Nazif Karaman, shared some details from the audio tape with Al Jazeera. Karaman said Khashoggi’s last words were:

“I’m suffocating… Take this bag off my head, I’m claustrophobic” – according what he confirmed is the authentic audio recording from inside the Istanbul consulate.

Meanwhile at the conclusion of the centennial anniversary of WWI ceremony in Paris President Erdogan’s office confirmed he and President Trump discussed the Jamal Khashoggi killing on the sidelines of the weekend events.

The prominent Turkish journalist for the popular pro-government Daily Sabah described further that the tape confirms that Khashoggi suffocated to death while a plastic bag was over his head in a killing that lasted for about seven minutes.

During the Al-Jazeera interview Karaman also said the group of 15 hitmen responsible for carrying out the murder, and who were reported to have arrived in Istanbul the day before the October 2 killing, spent 15 minutes dismembering Khashoggi’s body.

And notably, Karaman said his newspaper plans to publish segments of the audio death tape. According to the Al-Jazeera report:

Karaman said that Daily Sabah would soon publish images of the tools that were brought into the country and used by the Saudi group.

He added the Turkish newspaper would also publish some of the recordings that document the last moments of Khashoggi’s life.

If this happens it will likely renew the flood of anti-MbS press coverage that occurred in the weeks after the murder was revealed.

It will also raise serious questions for Washington and European officials who have apparently heard the recording but did not divulge or confirm that they had direct knowledge of such absolute certain proof that this was an official Saudi hit ordered at the highest levels.

In a televised speech, Erdogan on Saturday confirmed Turkey handed over recordings to Saudi Arabia, the United States, Germany, France and Britain. According to Reuters Erdogan stated confidently:

We gave the tapes. We gave them to Saudi Arabia, to the United States, Germans, French and British, all of them. They have listened to all the conversations in them. They know.

But as we asked before, the pressing question that remains is how long have American authorities known of the contents of the Khashoggi murder tape? When did officials listen to it and why have they kept silent about it even as news of the death and investigation drove headlines?

It appears the White House may have only come into possession of the recording as early as only a matter of days ago, not long before Erdogan and Trump met face to face in Paris and discussed the issue.

According to the the Daily Mail‘s account of the Trump-Erdogan talks:

The men were pictured at a dinner in Paris seated next to one another in photos released by the Turkish government, revealing a lengthy conversation took place on Saturday evening

“I can confirm they sat next to one another and they discussed the ongoing tragic situation with Khashoggi,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told DailyMail.com.

It will be interesting to see if President Trump himself addresses the audio recording in statements this week – something he may be forced to do if the audio is indeed leaked or published by Turkish press, as the Daily Sabah is now vowing to do.

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The Serbian question in Montenegro

The current, western influenced, government policy in Montenegro is based on the disabling Russian influence.

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On August 5, 1999 the government of Montenegro announced a platform for new relations between Serbia and Montenegro, in order to review the status of Montenegro electoral law. The Constitutional Court rejected this revision as being illegal.

A little later, the question of Montenegrin independence was again raised – this time with the support of the European Union and the US administration. The Montenegrin government has pursued a policy that has encouraged pro-independence, which resulted in the separation of Montenegro from Serbia in 2006.

Montenegrin Serbs have been strong advocates of a joint state with Serbia, however, they were outvoted. At the referendum, the majority of the Orthodox population was for a common state with Serbia, but the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, along with national minorities, managed to win majority. Many analysts forecast that going forward a majority of citizens will be in favor of an independent Montenegro, with ethnic Montenegrins making up more than half of the population.

However, the situation is completely different. Montenegro today is a deeply divided state. Montenegrin Serbs still do not accept the results of the referendum. They consider, and publicly point out that the referendum was undemocratic, with many irregularities. According to the 2011 census, Montenegrins make 44.98% of the population, Serbs 28.73%, Bosnians 8.65%, Albanians 4.91%, Muslims 3.31%, Roma 1.01%, and Croats 0.97%. It is important to point out that citizens were pressured to declare themselves as Montenegrins. Otherwise, the Serbs would be an absolute majority in Montenegro.

The goal of the Montenegrin government is that Montenegrins are an absolute majority in the state. This plan was implemented before separation from Serbia. According to the census of 2003 year, 63.49% of the population said that they speak then Serbian language, but the Montenegrin government decided in 2004 to rename the Serbian language. To that end, Montenegro has completely changed school programs. The Cyrillic alphabet is almost completely gone, and almost all state correspondence is in the Latin alphabet. In a 2011 census, 42.88% of the population said that they speak the Serbian language. The Serbian National Council of Montenegro, in September this year, stated:

“The authority in Montenegro, in a coalition with minority nations, has stopped every prospect for citizens who declare themselves nationally as Serbs. In all spheres of social and political life is opposed, especially Bosniaks and Albanians, to the Serbs, discriminating all Serbs who are not ready to change their own identity in the already obvious project of the assimilation of the Serbian people in the national Montenegrins”.

Discrimination against Serbs is best illustrated by the statistics. In the last four years in Montenegro, on average, only 13 Serbs received a state job annually. This is 37 times less than the number of Montenegrins, since the state institutions annually employed on average 486 citizens who declared themselves as Montenegrins.

The average number of employed Serbs is even smaller when compared with Bosniaks. According to official statistics, 82.11% of Montenegrins work in public administration, and only 7% of Serbs. All this is done with the aim that the Montenegrin Serbs are no longer a significant demographic and political factor in Montenegro.

Montenegrin Serbs are the main opponents of Milo Djukanovic and the Democratic Party of Socialists. It is important to note that the Democratic Party of Socialists is the ruling political party in Montenegro since the introduction of a multi-party system in 1990.

The main political goals of Montenegrin Serbs are one state with Serbia, and brotherly relations with Russia. It is precisely for this reason that the West is silent on the discrimination of the Serbs.

Montenegrin Serbs were the main opponents of Montenegro’s entry into NATO. One of the main reasons being NATO’s aggression against Serbia and Montenegro, as well as Russia’s position that NATO expansion is dangerous and unnecessary. NATO’s aggression on Serbia and Montenegro, began 19 years ago, without the approval of the UN Security Council.  NATO attacks lasted without interruption for 78 days, severely damaging infrastructure, commercial buildings, schools, health facilities, communication and cultural monuments. The cost of the damage is estimated between 30 and 100 billion dollars. The final number of victims from NATO bombings has not been officially declared, but Serbian estimates range between 1,200 and 2,500 dead, and about 5,000 injured.

From the above reasons, the Montenegrin government avoided the referendum on NATO, because most of the population was against the entry into NATO. The decision on entry into NATO was taken in the Parliament. By entering Montenegro into NATO, the West achieved a significant geopolitical victory. The territory of Montenegro has important geo-strategic significance. It has access to the Adriatic Sea, controls the Strait of Otranto. From Montenegro, NATO will have an even stronger impact on the Raska (Sandzak) region in Serbia, northern Kosovo, as well as in eastern Republic of Srpska.

For years an ongoing  project has been initiated aimed at changing the traditional Serbian/Slavic – Orthodox identity into Montenegrin into Roman Catholic.

“The Serbian Orthodox Church remains the main frontman of Greater Serbian nationalism towards the region and Montenegro, the striking fist of what ideologues of ‘big Serbia’ and imperial Russia in the Balkans want, and must remain the subject of Montenegro‘s state policy in the coming period”, stated Milo Djukanovic, president of Montenegro.

Djukanovic publicly stated that Montenegro wants to change its “ civilization circle”.  In the new “civilization circle” there is no place neither for Russia. On this statement every analyst who deals with the situation in Montenegro should pay attention. Under the rule of Milo Djukanovic and his Democratic Party of Socialists, an open revision of official history was started. Targeted in the revision are the good relations between Russia and Montenegro throughout history.

Regarding Russian-Montenegrin relations, history is clear. The first instance of official Russian – Montenegrin diplomatic contact was made in 1711, when Russian Tsar Peter the Great sent his envoys to “duke of Serb land” Metropolitan Danilo. Since then, Russia has always helped Montenegro and the Serbs. It is precisely because of this help through centuries that in Montenegro there is a pro–Russian leaning.

Russia has for centuries been the protector of Montenegro, and played a key role in helping Montenegro oust the Ottoman Empire. The people of Montenegro remember that and are very grateful to Russia. As a result, there is the term  in Montenegro ”Mother Russia”.

Montenegro’s foreign policy today is being tailored to the private interests of Milo Djukanovic and his Democratic Party of Socialists. This could be seen on the marking of the establishment of 140th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Montenegro and the United Kingdom, in June this year. In old royal capital Cetinje, president of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic stated:

“We do not forget that London was among the first to support twenty years ago the democratic turn and the European course of Montenegro. At that time, the British Know How Fund and the British Council played a particularly important role. But also the Government of Great Britain, with its decisive and comprehensive support … Time has shown that the struggle of our English admirers and friends for Montenegro in the twenties of the last century was not futile. The United Kingdom has strongly supported Montenegro in the process of joining NATO, where we again are allies.”

When it comes to Montenegrin-British relations, history is clear. Within the so-called Eastern Question, which stretched from the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the First World War, and which in essence signified the global conflict of the West against Russia, the goas was not to allow Russia to expand outwards towards a warm sea port. First via the Bosporus and Dardanelles Straits, and then later at any point in the Mediterranean that would be available to Russia.

At the same time, Britain and the West always considered Serbs, as the “Balkan Russians” or “little Russians”. Knowing that aside from the Bosphorus, Russia only route to the Mediterranean was via the Serbian-Adriatic Sea, Britain (in order to neutralize Russia’s aspirations), from the late 18th century practically conserved the Ottoman state and did not allow it to fail, almost up to the beginning of the 20th century, which significantly prolonged the occupation of the Balkans by Ottomans.

The current British policy towards Montenegro is based on the disabling Russian influence. Britain will help Djukanovic carry on his anti-Russian policy.

Serbia and Russia should jointly respond to this policy, and stand in protection of the Serbian Orthodox Church and Serbs in Montenegro. This is primarily reflected in the insistence on the recognition of fundamental rights, which are guaranteed by the Constitution of Montenegro. Russia has all the preconditions for the development of soft power in Montenegro. Russia’s soft power in Montenegro, progress is notable but not enough. A special emphasis should be placed on the Russian – Montenegrin historical links, and in this regard, scientific conferences should be organized in which Russian and Montenegrin historians would remind the people of Montenegro, as well as the intellectual community, of all the assistance Russia has provided to Montenegro over the centuries, sending a clear message that it will not allow the revision of history.

It would be beneficial to have serious Russian business investments into Montenegro. The largest number of tourists to Montenegro come from Russian. Russian investments in Montenegrin tourism should be significantly increased. In Montenegro, all TV news stations are pro-west, as well as almost all news publications. Brainwashing in Montenegro is performed on a daily basis. Montenegro urgently needs pro-Russian television, which would make the media scene of Montenegro more balanced. This would allow Russia to clarify its position in Montenegro and help to resolve the Serbian question. Russia would also strengthen its interests in this small, but strategically important Balkan nation.

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