Russia is building a railway to Crimea through Ukraine
Russia is building a railway that will connect Rostov-on-Don, near the Ukrainian border, with the Crimea region, which the country annexed to its territory in 2014. The line is expected to pass through some of the areas currently disputed with Ukraine, namely the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions. This was shared on Telegram by Yevgeny Balitsky, the Zaporizhzhia governor.
Balitsky said that construction of this railway has already started in the Donetsk area. It will pass through Mariupol and Berdyansk, he mentioned. The endpoint of this new line has been identified in Yakymivka, a little south of Melitopol. This new route, according to the Zaporizhzhia governor will offer better services than the current infrastructure which includes the Kerch Bridge, inaugurated in 2019 and bombed in October 2022. This current infrastructure does not pass through Ukrainian territory to reach Crimea.
Russia claimed to have annexed the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions at the end of September 2022, together with Kherson and Luhansk, in the context of its invasion of Ukraine. Concerning Balitsky, he started cooperating with the Kremlin after the war started. Russian authorities appointed him as head of the Zaporizhzhia military-civilian administration in May and he became the region’s governor in October.