Ukraine: Moscow begins the reconstruction of the annexed city of Mariupol

Ukraine: Moscow begins the reconstruction of the annexed city of Mariupol

The name of this city annexed by Russia, at the heart of the news almost a year ago, has almost fallen into oblivion. Except for Moscow: the Russian Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, went to Mariupol, in the occupied zone in Ukraine to inspect the reconstruction work in this town devastated by fightingthe Russian army said on Monday.

Mariupol, an important port city in south-eastern Ukraine, was devastated in the spring of 2022 during a siege led by the Russian army against Ukrainian soldiers, in particular entrenched for several weeks in the gigantic Azovstal steelworks. The strategic port had been conquered last May by Russian forcesafter more than two months of siege which devastated a large part of the city: many residential buildings, schools and businesses were destroyed.

“As part of a trip to the area of ​​​​the special military operation”, Sergei Shoigu conducted inspections of already reconstructed infrastructure sites as well as new construction sites in Mariupol, Donbass, announced the Russian army in a press release which does not specify the exact date of this visit.

Among other things, he visited a medical center, another emergency center and a new residential area comprising 12 buildings, the statement continued, adding that he was also presented with a report on the construction of a major aqueduct supposed to connect the Donetsk region, annexed in September by Moscow, to the Russian region of Rostov. The Russian army is in charge of the main reconstructions in the annexed Ukrainian territories.

A depopulated city

Before the Russian military offensive, the city, built on the shores of the Sea of ​​Azov, had more than 400,000 inhabitants. But it has largely become depopulated, with many residents fleeing the fighting. The Russian government presented a plan last summer to rebuild Mariupol in three years, a goal that seems ambitious, given the scale of the destruction. In December, the team of imprisoned Russian opponent and slayer of corruption, Alexei Navalny, published an investigation accusing officials of the Russian Ministry of Defense of embezzlement in the work of reconstruction of Mariupol.

At the end of December, Sergei Shoigu made two similar visits to the “special operation” zone in Ukraine, the name Moscow gives to the conflict. This comes as fierce fighting continues for Bakhmut’s controlin the Donetsk region, a locality of limited strategic value but which has become a symbol because the two camps have been clashing there for months.

Source link

Leave a Reply