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Russia is building a new railway line to Ukraine’s occupied Mariupol: UK intel

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Russia is constructing a new railway line to the occupied city of Mariupol to cut down the travel times for supplies to reach the Zaporizhzhia front, a UK intelligence update revealed on Sunday.

“Russia almost certainly continues to maintain and improve its rail lines of communication in Ukraine and is constructing a new railway line to Mariupol which will reduce travel times for supplies to the Zaporizhzhia front,” the British ministry of defense said in its war intelligence update.

It added: “Rail logistics continues to be a vital component in sustaining Russia’s invasion. Russia uses its rail networks to move ammunition, armor, fuel and personnel into Ukraine. The rail network in occupied Ukraine remains largely viable but vulnerable to sporadic interdiction by Ukrainian artillery, air launched missiles and sabotage.”

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The British intelligence report stressed: “In previous conflicts, attrition of rail transportation has required focused, sustained, and repeated attack by air and/or ground forces.”

“Russia is using civilian contractors and equipment to complete this project, likely calculating this will complicate targeting efforts and preserve military railway troop capabilities for urgent tasks elsewhere. The new line falls within the notional range of Ukrainian long-range precision strike systems,” the British ministry stated.

Meanwhile, the Washington-based think tank Institute of Study of War (ISW) reported on Sunday that “Russian occupation authorities continue efforts to forcibly depopulate occupied Mariupol… of Ukrainians and replace them with Russians.”

The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported that Russian authorities brought over 25,000 construction workers from Russia and Central Asian countries to occupied Mariupol. The Center said the migrants “created at least two ethnic gangs involved in arms and drug trafficking, smuggling, scrap metal collecting, and illegal transportation and construction.”

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