Source: Ukrainian Weekly
“It’s a real blockade by Russia,” Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan said at a news conference in Mariupol on December 2 after visiting the two ports. “It’s turning out to be a dead zone.”
Now, these ports find themselves on a new frontline with Russia. Thanks to a meek Western response and Ukraine’s military inferiority, Russia is completing a stranglehold upon the Azov Sea, choking the local economy and maritime shipping.
The numbers speak for themselves.
Turnover has halved in the two ports since 2014, when Russia invaded Ukraine – starting with the covert takeover of Crimea and then the easternmost part of the Donbas. In May, a four-mile bridge was completed that links mainland Russia to the Crimean city of Kerch; its lower height clearance has decreased the two ports’ shipping capacity by 30 percent, said Mr. Omelyan.