What to Know About Novorossiysk, the Russian Port Attacked by Ukraine

by Pelican Press
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The Ukrainian drone attack on Friday on a Russian warship in Novorossiysk served as another blow for the Russian Navy, which operates a key base in the Black Sea port city.

It also signaled that Moscowā€™s economy is ever more squarely in Ukraineā€™s cross hairs, bringing the war to one of Russiaā€™s most critical commercial ports.

Here is a look at the port and its significance for Moscow:

The Novorossiysk commercial seaport is one of Russiaā€™s largest by volume and among the biggest in Europe ā€” a key node in the export of Russian grain, oil, and other products to countries around the world.

It has been a hub of international commerce for Russia since the 19th century and the city was also the site of the first Pepsi factory in Russia, opened in the Soviet Union in the early 1970s during the Cold War dƩtente.

Before his illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia allocated significant resources to the construction of the naval base at Novorossiysk, turning the port into one of the countryā€™s main naval hubs for the Black Sea. On the same day that the port was hit, a drone attack also targeted Feodosia, a Russian-controlled port in Crimea.

The port is a significant export hub for grain, given its proximity to Russiaā€™s biggest grain-producing regions and its location on the Black Sea, which allows for easy exports to Africa, Asia and South America, in addition to Europe.

At a summit with African leaders last week in St. Petersburg, Russia, Mr. Putin promised free grain to a number of African nations ā€” grain that likely would be exported from Russia via Novorossiysk.

The attack, and the subsequent pause in maritime traffic at the port, prompted wheat futures to rise on Friday, an indication of Novorossiyskā€™s importance to the global grain trade. Russia is the worldā€™s largest wheat exporter.

The Caspian Pipeline Consortium, which operates an oil terminal at Novorossiysk, said the attack caused a temporary halt on the movement of ships in the port. It was unclear whether any oil export infrastructure was damaged in the attack.

If strikes continue around the port ā€” whose commercial operator is under European Union sanctions ā€” the result could be significant economic disruption for Russia.

The attack on Friday could be ā€œa powerful shock to the Russian economy,ā€ the Russian pro-government Telegram channel Readovka Explains posted on Friday, calling for an ā€œimmediate responseā€ by Moscow.



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