Russian occupants construct railway line from Donetsk to Southern Ukraine and launched train Mariupol-Volnovakha

  Нова залізнична колія на ТОТ Донецької області.  Березень 2024 р. Джерело фото: соцмережі 
New railway line on temporary occupied territory of Donetsk oblast. March 2024. Source of photo: social media

Last satellite data indicate that the Russian Federation keeps expanding railway network on temporary occupied territories of Ukraine, in order to improve its military logistics. Last month these works accelerated 40 kilometers to the south of Donetsk. Construction of railway line between Mariupol and Berdyansk has also advanced. 

The Center of Journalist Investigations assumed at the end of October 2023 that Russia would construct new railway lines, linking occupied Donbas with Crimea, in the “square” near Donetsk – between Olenivka, Dokuchaevsk, Starobeshevo and Mospyno. 

Ймовірна схема російської залізниці на ТОТ Донеччини: зеленим кольором позначені нещодавно збудовані ділянки, червоним - ділянки, що будуються зараз. 

Possible scheme of Russian railway lines on temporary occupied territory of Donetsk oblast. Green color marks already constructed lines; red color marks lines being constructed right now. 

These lines will be built into existing railways through Mospyne and finally lead to the important railway hub in Ilovaisk. Since April 2024, satellite pictures of this area have indicated that respective construction works have been under progress. 

For example, pictures from May 2, 2024 showed signs that Russians laid “the bed” for future railway line from East to West, from Dokuchaevsk to Starobeshevo. The largest part of this line seems to be the old railway line which Russians plan to renovate.

Порівняння знімків  супутника на ділянці м. Докучаєвськ – с. Стила – м. Старобешеве  11.11.2023 і 02.05.2024 р. Колаж: 

Comparison of satellite pictures of the line Dokuchaevsk-Styla-Starobeshevo from 11.11.2023 and 02.05.2024. Collage by

It seems that Russian occupants are going to construct new 50 km long railway from Donetsk to the south, through villages of Andriivka and Novobeshevo to Novozarjivka. Newly constructed railway line Novoselivka-Granitne-Burne passes near the village of Novozarjivka. This line has been constructed at the very start of Russian efforts to expand railway network in occupied Donbas. As the Center reported last week, it is very likely that this line will work by the beginning of summer 2024.

Супутникові світлини з різницею в півроку біля с. Новоселівка і с. Новозар'ївка

Satellite pictures of areas near villages of Novoselivka and Novozarjivka (half a year difference). Collage:

Besides that, direct railway communication will link Granitne, Starobesheve and Olenivka. It should be mentioned that today Olenivka is railway hub within existing railway line Donetsk-Volnovakha-Mariupol. 

In accordance with rough estimates, new railway lines will be from 100 to 150 kilometers long. New railway lines will reduce by two times the distance for the delivery of Russian military supplies to the front line. It will increase the number of Russian military railway trains and speed up rotation of Russian soldiers and equipment on Eastern and Southern fronts. 

Implementation of this project takes time. Russian spent nine months for the construction of first 60 kilometers and railway bridge over Kalmius river. The first Russian train departed from Mariupol port only in May. 

Перший з часу окупації потяг від порту м. Маріуполь до станції у м.Волноваха Донецької області. 02.05.2024 р. Джерело фото: 

The first Russian train departs from Mariupol port to Volnovakha in Donetsk oblast, 02.05.2024. Source of photo:

However, Russian occupants are able to accelerate implementation of their projects due to almost endless human and material resources. 

“The first train from Mariupol port to Volnovakha station departed today. The front platform has been launched before the locomotive for mine security as Russians were afraid that locomotive would be exploded by mines. As Russian construction of railway near Granitne moves quickly, this is bad news”, as reported telegram channel АндрющенкоTIME on May 2, 2024. 

Russian land works covered 16 kilometers within one week. Satellite Sentinel-2 identified them between Mariupol and Berdyansk, from Komyshuvate village in Donetsk oblast to the village of Chervone Pole in Zaporizhzhia oblast. 

Знімки супутника Sentinel-2  району на адмінкордоні Запорізької і Донецької областей за 02.05.2024 р. і поблизу с. Червоне поле у порівнянні з даними за 22.04.2024 р. Колаж: 

Pictures of satellite Sentinel-2 of the area on administrative border between Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk oblast dated 02.05.2024 and near the village of Chervone Pole, in comparison with pictures dated 22.04.2024 Collage:

Land works on this line, apart from highway M14, indirectly confirm joint hypothesis of our Center and Petro Andruschenko, an advisor of the Mayor of Mariupol, that Russian occupants simultaneously construct new railway line and bypass highway near Mariupol. Our material about 70 km long land corridor from Russia read here

Умовна схема нової залізниці від Маріуполя до Бердянська(червоним кольором, зеленим – існуюча, сірим – автотраса М14)

Scheme of new railway line from Mariupol to Berdyansk. Red color marks new railway line under construction, green color marks existing railway line and grey indicates highway M14 

Besides that, Russians have launched some works on car bridge over Berda river near Osypenko village since the beginning of 2024. 

Міст через р. Берда на трасі М14 на півночі с. Осипенко Бердянського раойну. Зима 2023 р.  

Bridge over Berda river on highway M14 in the northern part of Osypenko, Berdyansky raion. Winter 2023

There were no Russian or Ukrainian reports about damaging this bridge. It is located directly on land corridor M14, just 1 500 meters away from the dam of Berdyansk water reservoir. 

Джерело фото:

Source of photo:

In February 2024, our Center reported that Russia launched the construction of new railway line from Mariupol to Crimea. Now Russians construct simultaneously railway line and expand existing highway near Novoazovsk towards Mariupol. 

“Novoazovsk-Mariupol. Highway has been expanded and new railway line has been prepared. It is an area near Novoazovsk (50 kilometers from Mariupol). You see the scope of works. Regular traffic jams for Russian military columns”, as reported Андрющенко TIME on May 6, 2024. 

Нові дороги війні РФ на ТОТ півдня України. Джерело фото: соцмере                        

New roads of the Russian war on temporary occupied territories of Southern Ukraine. Source of photo: social media