Putin drove across the newly built bridge to Crimea—a territory Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014—to officially open its road lanes for car traffic.
Everything is ready!” Mostik the cat, a mascot for the bridge builders, posted on Instagram on Monday.
The cat has become the cuddly symbol of an otherwise deeply controversial project embodying Russia's annexation of Crimea.
The Russian government commissioned the bridge between Krasnodar region and Crimea shortly after and Arkady Rotenberg, a close friend of Putin’s, received the contract to build it.
Besides protesting the annexation and projects that cement Russian control over Crimea, Ukraine is also preparing a lawsuit over a secondary effect of the bridge.