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Russia stealing minerals from Ukraine - UK Intelligence

Russia stealing minerals from Ukraine - UK Intelligence Photo: Russia steals minerals from Ukraine (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Russia uses the Kerch bridge to transport stolen minerals from occupied territories of Ukraine, the UK Ministry of Defense reports.

As noted in the summary, the authorities of Ukraine have long reported the theft of resources by Russia. Ukraine has deposits of iron ore, coal, titanium, uranium, manganese, gold, and lithium. These are resources that are almost certainly wanted by Russia but are potential targets as Russia seeks to destroy Ukraine's economy by cutting off its access and destroying its infrastructure.

According to UK intelligence, one of the reasons Russia wants to improve transport networks in the occupied part of Ukraine is because it wants to extract more Ukrainian minerals. A Russian occupation official in the Zaporizhia region previously stated that continued modernization and construction of road and rail transport links with Russia would improve communication routes not only for military logistics but also for the export of grain and minerals.

"South of Dniprorudne in Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia region, Russia continues its mining activity, removing iron ore by rail. Trains travel through Crimea, over the Kerch Bridge into Russia. This activity is not without risk; as trains need to move through areas where Ukrainian partisans are known to operate and have already claimed responsibility for attacks," the UK Ministry of Defense emphasizes.

Illegal Crimean Bridge

The Crimean Bridge, illegally built by Russia, was damaged at least twice. In October 2022, explosions rang out on it, which caused significant destruction. The head of the SBU Vasyl Malyuk said that this was an operation of his special service.

In addition, in July 2023, the Crimean Bridge was attacked by Sea Baby drones, which destroyed two spans. The head of the Security Service of Ukraine also confirmed the involvement of the special service in this attack.