Close-up of railway tracks

Russia said to be building a railway to Crimea through Ukraine

Close-up of railway tracks Johannes Plenio / Unsplash

According to a local governor, 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 parts of Ukraine currently occupied by Russia, namely the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions. This was shared on Telegram by Yevgeny Balitsky, who serves as the Governor of the Russian occupation of Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

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.

This is roughly where the railway will run. Image: © Google Earth

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.

A version of this article first appeared on sister publication

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Author: Marco Raimondi

Marco Raimondi is an editor of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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