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The construction of a bridge across the Kerch Strait to Crimea is seen from the outskirts of the Taman settlement in Krasnodar region, southern Russia, April 4, 2016. Reuters

One of Russia’s most prestigious universities has been searching for “motivated students” with excellent academic standing to help build a bridge to Crimea this summer.

Moscow State University (MSU) students would work eight hours a day and five days a week alongside with engineers on the Kremlin’s flagship Kerch Bridge, according to Russia’s Federal Road Agency.

"Unique practical skills learned from the best industry professionals working on the construction of the Crimean Bridge, is an invaluable experience for the future talent pool industry," the head of the Federal Road Agency said.

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Students would be given an “invaluable experience,” picking up the basics of bridge-building like sorting and storing materials and preparing paperwork, Rosavtodor said in a press release.

MSU principal, Viktor Sadovnichy, supported the idea wholeheartedly, according to the Moscow Times.

This would not be the first time students helped building the bridge to Crimea. Eighty-seven students from six Russian universities in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Tyumen and Irkutsk worked on the bridge last summer.

The Kremlin has planned to bring an increasing number of students this year as well as expanding "the geography of objects, which will be organized for the students' practice,” the press release said.

Stroygazmontazh, the building company that is owned by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s partner, Arkady Rotenberg, won the contract to build the bridge in February 2015. The contract for the 19 kilometer car-and-rail bridge that would link the annexed Crimean peninsula to the Russian mainland was worth at least $4.5 billion.

Although the Kerch Strait Bridge was Russia's top-priority infrastructure project, experts warned last month that its chances of standing for any length of time were very slim.

Still, Putin was determined to complete the bridge, which he referred to as a “historic mission.”

The bridge and the railway were scheduled to become fully operational by December 2018.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 after pro-Russian forces systematically took over the Ukrainian government. The move resulted in a prolonged military conflict in Ukraine.

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