First cargo ship to leave port since Russia took control of Mariupol

Since Russia took control of Mariupol in Ukraine, a cargo ship has been allowed to leave port in the city for the first time. The ship was carrying a large amount of metal and headed towards the Russian city of Rostov.

Today, 2,500 tons of rolled metal have left the port of Mariupol. The train headed for the city of Rostov“, Denis Pushilin, leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, announced on Telegram.

First cargo ship to leave port since Russia took control of Mariupol - 1

A metal vessel has left the port of Mariupol, Ukraine, and headed for the Russian city of Rostov. (Photo: Reuters)

In addition to metal, Russia is also purchasing grain from Kherson – another city in Ukraine. With that, the Kherson government is working to supply sunflower seeds to local and Russian processing plants.

Russia took full control of Mariupol in early May after more than 2,400 Ukrainian warplanes surrendered at the Azovstal steel mills. Last week, Russia said the port of Mariupol had reopened to commercial ships.

Control of Mariupol also gives Russia control of the Azov coast and establishes a safe road corridor linking mainland Russia and the pro-Russian separatist territory to the east with the Crimean peninsula.

Not only that, Mariupol is also an important industrial port city of Ukraine. It used to be the main source of Ukraine’s steel and grain exports and the largest seaport along the Sea of ​​Azov.

Ukraine’s largest steel mills are located in Mariupol, including Azovstal – one of the largest in Europe. The metallurgical products of the Mariupol factories are not only exported, but also contribute to Ukraine’s defense industry.

Recently, Sievierodonetsk – a city about 143 km south of the Russian border – has been the focus of fighting in the Donbass. Sievierodonetsk also reminded Ukrainian officials of the situation in Mariupol during the nearly three-month war.

The situation is very tense“, said Governor of Lugansk province Sergiy Gaidai.

Severodonetsk is the largest city in the Donbass still under Ukrainian control. Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk on the River Siverskiy Donetsk are both strategically important areas. These areas are considered the last line of defense of the Ukrainian army in the Lugansk region. If the Russians control this place, Moscow will basically control the Lugansk region.

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