Russia is strengthening its defense lines in the temporarily captured areas of Ukraine to prevent a rapid advance of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU).

On Nov 7, according to the Advisor of the Mayor of Mariupol, Petro Andryshchenko, Russian occupants started building a defense line around the city Two small plants for concrete production are working to supply Russian military needs, including anti-tank concrete “pyramids” that have been partially transported to Zaporizhzhia/Kherson.

On Nov. 8, Russian ships carrying military cargo entered Mariupol port. According to the port administration, they contain construction materials, medicine for a military hospital, and several hundred sets of Russian military uniforms.

The quality of military uniforms has been widely mocked, with Andryshchenko saying they are in a worse condition than Ukrainian workers’ overalls.

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According to Andryshchenko, factory workers are being recruited in larger numbers from Mariupol for a “business trip” to the Kherson region to build fortifications. They are being offered higher wages and security in return for their services, with a view to creating seven or eight lines of defense.

Due to a lack of work in the city and at factories in Mariupol, the number of applicants is growing. Also, there is a risk that another hidden wave of mobilization will be launched by Russian occupants in the city.

In other pressures facing residence of the Mariupol, road traffic under Russian occupation has become a particular problem since the Crimean bridge was destroyed. Cars are reportedly waiting in traffic jams for up to three hours in the middle of a city equipped for 500,000 people, despite only 130,000 currently living there.

ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, February 24, 2024
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ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, February 24, 2024

Latest from the Institute for the Study of War.

On Nov. 7, more than 1,500 fresh graves spanning three newly discovered sites were discovered near temporarily occupied Mariupol. According to the BBC, with reference to satellite images, the graves were found in the Old Crimea, Mangush, and Vynohradne areas near Mariupol. These are the mass cemeteries of Ukrainians killed by the Russian occupiers during the armed seizure of the city.

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