Invading Russian forces are turning the seaport in the occupied city of Mariupol into a military base, the city’s Ukrainian mayoral advisor Petro Andriushchenko said on Telegram on Jan. 4.
All local workers, except for some collaborators, were dismissed from the seaport in late December, he said. In turn, Russia brought its specialists there.
“The work has begun on dividing the moorings into conventionally civilian and conventionally military ones,” he said.
“Due to siltation of the channel, vessels with small-sized cargo, such as river-sea-type RM3 ships, can still enter the seaport’s water area. However, this will not prevent the supply of military equipment in the spring shipping period.”
According to Andriushchenko, the administration has so far recorded isolated, unsystematic cases when the RM3-class vessels entered the seaport with building materials and containers whose content is unknown.
He added that some Mariupol workers had been sent to the occupied Crimea late in December. After that, their relatives have no contact with them and do not know their whereabouts.
“In the best case, they’re engaged in digging trenches,” the advisor said.
“At worst, they’re in the same trenches (fighting) without consent and agreement.”
In November, first Russian ships with dual-use and military cargo entered the occupied seaport of Mariupol. The invaders brought building materials,medicines for a military hospital, and several hundred military uniform kits.