Russia deepens Mariupol port: Ukraine names two possible reasons
The Russian forces are deepening the port of the temporarily occupied Mariupol to accommodate large cargo ships. There are two versions of why the Russia is doing this.
One of the versions was expressed by Petro Andriushchenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, on Radio Liberty.
According to him, Russian forces are planning to create a large logistics hub. Currently, a dredge is operating in the port of occupied Mariupol, a special vessel of the technical fleet engaged in dredging. As a result, large vessels may start entering the city's port.
"And the worst thing about this situation is that, again, going back to the railway and this circle around the Sea of Azov, the railway line that they connect, this branch, it starts in Mariupol at the port. So you can actually understand how big a logistics hub this becomes. So we have the sea, we have the railway, which can start working in the near future. If they are not stopped now in some effective way, we will see it already n the spring," Andriushchenko said.
He noted that there is a port in Yeysk, 30 nautical miles from Mariupol, where large cargo ships operate. There are also ports in Rostov-on-Don, occupied Kerch and Sevastopol. This way, Russians will be able to deliver cargo within one day of daylight, including all loading and unloading, Andriushchenko said.
At the same time, Ukrainian Navy spokesman Dmytro Pletenchuk expressed a different version during the telethon. According to him, Russian forces need to deepen the port for further export of loot.
"It has more to do with civilian shipping. Because when it comes to logistical support for the military, they have large landing ships that do not require great depth, which can actually go ashore, and they have eight more of these units. Therefore, in principle, it is connected with the need to continue to export loot from Ukrainian territories," Pletenchuk said.
- Currently, Russian forces are cutting the Azov Sea coastline, turning it into a defence line, and installing air defence systems along the perimeter