Skip to content

Ukraine Trade Arteries Show Putin’s Options Short of All Out War

Business at key ports has been decimated since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, and even a minor attack in the area could hinder efforts to revitalize trade.

Video player cover image
U.S. Reiterates Citizens Should Consider Leaving Ukraine

From her office across from the wind-lashed docks and idle cranes of Berdyansk Commercial Sea Port in southeastern Ukraine, new director Olga Saminina is frank about its prospects: Zero, without state support and new clients.

Volumes have fallen tenfold, to 450,000 tons of cargo per year from an average 4.5 million tons before 2014, according to Saminina, a direct result of the conflict with Russian-backed separatists 100 kilometers (62 miles) to the east, which for almost eight years has disrupted transport links. The port mostly handled metals, coal, petroleum and grain.