Russia nears completion of strategic railroad linking Rostov-on-Don and Mariupol

Mariupol
Mariupol

The Russian occupation administration is completing the construction of a railroad linking Rostov-on-Don with the occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol, stated the Mayor's advisor Petro Andriushchenko to Espreso TV channel on May 8.

In April and early May, three test trains traveled from Volnovakha in Donetsk Oblast to Mariupol's port and back, transporting kaolin and ore. The cargo was loaded onto a Liberian ship seized last year.

Read also: Russia nears completion of railroad to occupied southern Ukrainian territories – HUR

"The trains returned empty to test the track," stated Andriushchenko.

The Russian-built railroad near Hranitne village, through Telmanove district, to connect Mariupol with Volnovakha and Rostov-on-Don is near completion. However, bridges and junctions lack rails.

Andriushchenko anticipates operations to commence by late May or early June.

Read also: Russians spotted transporting their equipment to north of Donetsk Oblast through Mariupol

In September 2023, Andriushchenko reported Russian occupation authorities' efforts to construct a direct rail link to Mariupol, Volnovakha, and Donetsk. The first train on this line was launched on May 2.

Occupation of Mariupol by Russian troops

In May 2022, Russian troops occupied Mariupol after nearly three months of siege and intense combat. Before the invasion, this port city housed around 450,000 residents.  Amid the siege, half fled, tens of thousands died.

As the final Ukrainian defenders departed the Azovstal steel plant in May, following orders from their commanders to surrender, Mariupol had been transformed from a bustling industrial hub into a devastated ruin.

Russian occupation authorities seek to conceal evidence of their actions in Mariupol and present a facade of 'restoration.' However, the truth diverges significantly from the propaganda, according to a report from the Financial Times on Feb. 8.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine