Later this year I expect to visit Krasnodar as a part of a commission for my day job (assume August or September 2016). I would like to combine this visit with a brief holiday to see friends and relatives in Simferopol, and hopefully attend a football match there. On paper this is all one country.
My plan is to leave Krasnodar by car on the E115 and then to join the E97 near Anapa. And from there eventually arrive in Kavkaz where I can take the ferry to Kerch. This is one of the few ferry sites in the region that traces its origins to pre common-era antiquity and has great attraction to me for that reason. I have never taken this route before, so I am a first-time traveller and don't know what to expect.
Overall my objective is to minimize the time spent in various queues, either those waiting to board the ferry or those operated by the Border Service.
I am aware that there was (or is) a border control point on the E97 because the Crimea used to be a foreign country. After the Crimea was repatriated, the route is presumably all one country, but part of the thrill and excitement of Russia is you can expect anything and everything anywhere along the way.
Question: is this control point in the Krasnodar region still operating? I do not need visas or other travel documents, but have concerns about the waiting times.
Also, I am informed (albeit only by rumour) that the queue to take the ferry can stretch back as far as 5 miles, even at pre-dawn. Can this be substantiated? If so, is there a way that this wait can be avoided?
Finally, is the Border Service operating ad-hoc, secondary control points in and around Kersh (i.e., the Crimea side) that might further delay my arrival in Simferopol (including any local vigilante militia)?
There's a YouTube video made by a tourist (I assume American because of the accent) who followed this same route and filmed all of the locations mentioned in this question. It was made prior to the repatriation of the Crimea so does not have current details about the border check point. It's nauseating in some places and the audio is sadly incoherent most of the time, but it does include a great vista of the strait taken from the memorial and is worth seeing for that alone.