Kerch Strait, Ukraine, Crimean Peninsula discussed on MSNBC Rachel Maddow (audio)

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More than one hundred years Russians have been trying to build a bridge over this twelve mile mile stretch of water between mainland Russia. And the Crimean Peninsula. It's known is the Kerch Strait and you can see why Russia would want to build a bridge there right right. Not only does it give you easy access to the Crimean Peninsula. It also gives you huge leverage in terms of controlling everything that comes and goes into the Sea of Azov by being the sole proprietor of that bridge. You effectively become the gate agent to that entire body of water and all the ports that are inside of it so it's the wonder at all that Russia has wanted to build a bridge there for a very long time. It's not been easy in fact it's been almost comically difficult for one thing. There is a tectonic plate right under the Kerch Strait meaning. It's vulnerable to earthquakes. There are also dozens of mullah mud volcanoes on the sea floor and while you think the screen is just one way. It's not I I can see you. I can read your lips saying what's a mud. Volcano mud volcanoes. Those are exactly what they sound like. Volcanoes that spew mud and there's more in the winter the straight is inundated with big ice floes one giant. Hi It's sheet of sea. Ice took out a temporary bridge over the Kerch Strait in the nineteen forties so mother nature has proven to be a bit of a bear in terms of getting this project done the over the past few decades. There's also been the teeny tiny matter that Crimea isn't actually part of Russia. It's part of Ukraine small matter though in in March of two thousand fourteen foot and solve that part of the equation he had Russia invaded Ukraine and the day after he invaded Ukraine. The very next day in fact he announced that he was going want to build a bridge over the Kerch Strait now. Russia has accomplished that mission. Today the bridge opened to rail traffic with President Putin sitting up front the first train car the bridge now complete having also opened a vehicle's just last year already Ukraine is feeling the effects it has comp Ukraine has complained that it's larger ships are unable to get under the bridges rather short archers. Meaning it can't get certain goods in and out of strategic Ukrainian ports and that's having hugely damaging effect on the country both strategically and economically one of its biggest port. Cities is now effectively handicapped. And on top of all that. The Crimean it. Insulin has slipped even further under Putin's grip so as the impeachment battle plays out in this country it is an important reminder as to just how much is at stake for the key ally caught in the middle of everything they called it the National Ballot Security Task Force. The National Republican Party created in one thousand nine hundred. Eighty one for the governor's race in New Jersey and it turned out to be trouble..

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