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Russia begins to clear Mariupol port entrance to export stolen grain and metal

Friday, 1 July 2022, 19:51


Petro Andriushchenko, advisor to the mayor of Mariupol, said on Telegram that Russian occupying forces have brought a towing crane to clear the Mariupol shipping channel and the waters of the Mariupol port. This will allow the occupiers to use ships to export stolen Ukrainian grain and metal.

Andriushchenko said that electricity needed to operate port cranes is being supplied from the Mariupol district. The port might be ready to receive shipments and to ship away stolen Ukrainian grain and metal via the main deep-water channel.


Russia is planning to send shipments to Syria and distribute cargo from there.

Russian occupying forces have been trying to restore the port in occupied Mariupol since May. Ukrainian grain and metal have remained on the port’s territory since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion on 24 February.

Ihor Barskyi, the port’s director, said that on 23 February, there was about 200,000 tons of metal and pig iron worth $170 million stored on the port’s territory. The volume of grain stored in the port was less significant: 3,400 tons in depots and another 9,000 tons on a foreign ship moored at one of the berths.


The Russian occupiers first opened the old gates to the port. The water is 3.5 metres deep at that port entrance, enough to allow river vessels with a smaller draught to enter the port. However, Russian ships will not be able to enter the port until its waters are cleared from the ships that were sunk there. Barskyi said that the Russians might be able to clear three or four berths as early as 18 July.

Russia needs a stable supply of electricity in order to be able to use cranes to carry out these clearing operations.