In June, almost at the same time with a difference of one day, the Russian Minister of Defense Serhiy Shoigu and the head of Crimea appointed by Russia Serhii Aksyonov (according to the Aksenov documents) announced the opening of the land corridor to Crimea and… its closure for civilian purposes. In the part of the Kherson region occupied by Russia, they began to plan a separate one corridor to Crimea for trucks, and in the captured territories of the Zaporizhzhia region there was talk of land corridor to Crimea from Moscow. All plans are related to logistics, where ensuring transport flows through the Crimean peninsula plays a major role.
Crimea. Realii with the participation of experts, they discussed the declared corridors, their use in international and domestic trade, as well as the possibilities of solving the logistics problems of Crimea by military means.
Logistics: in the name of war or business?
The term “logistics” has Greek roots and means “the art of calculation, reasoning”. The main function of Roman logisticians was the distribution of foodstuffs. Most theorists consider the emergence and development of logistics from a historical perspective as an integral part of military art, as a military science.
During the times of the USSR, “suppliers” became logisticians. In the future, transportation of goods and services, trade and business as a whole began to be associated with logistics. For the first time, the concept of logistics was tried to be formulated in March 1974 at the congress in Berlin.
The doctrine of planning, management and control of the movement of material, information and financial resources in various systems came to be called logistics.
A land corridor from Russia to Crimea is an old military plan of the Kremlin
There was talk of Russia’s plans to “break through” the land corridor to Crimea by armed means immediately after the seizure of the peninsula in 2014.
Private intelligence and analytical company Stratfor (USA) in June 2015 prepared the analysis six variants of Russia’s alleged attack on Ukraine. One of the main ones is the creation of a land corridor to Crimea along the Azov coast.
Almost at the same time as Stratfor’s findings in the European Parliament adopted a resolution regarding the military-strategic situation in the Black Sea basin after the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia. IN point 11 of this document noted the existence of a threat of Russia creating a land corridor to Crimea with the prospect of Ukraine losing access to the Sea of Azov.
2021 in Russia already openly prepared to a practical military operation to create such a corridor.
In late February – early March 2022, Russian troops occupied part of the territories of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.
Land “military corridor”
Head of the monitoring group “Institute of Black Sea Strategic Studies” (Kyiv) Andriy Klymenkocommenting on events upon request Crimea. Realiistated that the corridor to Crimea from Russia has exclusively military significance.
The corridor to Crimea is a purely military and political slogan
“There is no need to look for logic in the actions of the occupiers regarding the creation of a corridor to Crimea. The corridor to Crimea is a purely military and political slogan. If you open the map and carefully look at the existing transport network, everything becomes clear immediately. We hear no reports that there are railways in operation there or that any service has been started.
I think they technically might work, but they’re artillery fire away from the front lines! From a practical point of view, for any transport company on the road, it is necessary to have more or less normal coverage, gas stations, parking lots, and maintenance. I’m sure it’s not there now. None of the Russian companies will go to the front-line territory, which is mined or is in the affected zone. There is no economic sense in this corridor,” the expert said.
Interlocutor Crimea. Realii pointed out that the land corridor to Crimea runs practically along the coast of the Sea of Azov, there is a single road from east to west, and all railway lines were built to serve production facilities from south to north.
Having superimposed the maps of transport routes on the war zone, you come to the conclusion that there is no alternative for Russia, except for the route through the Kerch bridge
“After superimposing the maps of transport routes on the war zone, you come to the conclusion that there is no alternative for Russia, except for the route through the Kerch Bridge. In this case, the highway from Taganrog to Mariupol and beyond, as well as the railway lines in the Melitopol-Tokmak-Mariupol triangle in connection with Crimea, can only be considered as military transport routes for the transfer of troops along the front line – rollovers. And no more. Therefore, it is not necessary to talk about the transportation of some products or goods in the interests of the population,” Andriy Klymenko emphasized.
He believes that the entire land corridor to Crimea, declared in the interests of Russia, is within the range of missiles, so there is no question of its civilian significance.
Logistics without logic and access to international trade
President of the Association “Ukrzovnoshtrans” (Kyiv), which unites transport, forwarding and logistics organizations of Ukraine, Oleg Platonovanswering questions Crimea. Realii, noted that with the help of the land corridor, Russia blocks the Sea of Azov from all sides. In his opinion, under such logistical conditions, Crimea can work only in a very limited “island-mainland” scheme.
It is impossible to carry out a legal international cargo operation from and to Crimea
“All Crimean ports, as well as airports, are closed. Therefore, it is impossible to carry out a legal international cargo operation from and to Crimea. The connection of Russia with the peninsula by a land corridor does not make any logistical sense. If you connect this issue with occupation and aggression, then it is clear that Russia uses the captured transport routes to secure the military rear and bring everything necessary to the front line. But in international trade, however, as well as in domestic, it does not give anything to Moscow. If they had not treacherously “climbed” into the Kherson region, then there really would be no agricultural production in Crimea either,” Oleg Platonov said.
According to the expert, of all the existing international transport organizations, only one – Organization of cooperation of railways with headquarters in Warsaw – retains full pre-war rights for Russia. But even in this organization, which includes 26 countries of the world, including Russia and China, they still advance through Russian restrictions.
“In all other structures, the aggressor’s powers are blocked, and his representatives are removed from the governing bodies. Therefore, Moscow’s attempts to rely on the railway or road transport in the issue of the mainland corridor with Crimea do not have an international perspective,” Oleg Platonov said.
Rokad roads to “nowhere”
On the eve of the invasion, Russia began hastily to build rolling roadsincluding railway, according to the plans of the Ministry of Defense.
According to the results of visits to the occupied territories of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions (official Kyiv calls such trips of Russian officials illegal – KR), Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Husnullin stated that a comprehensive three-year road development plan is being preparedand they want to connect the roads of the Zaporizhia region with the regional, federal and municipal roads of Russia into a single network.
Commenting on the request Crimea. Realii situation and plans of Russia, director of Transproject LLC (Kyiv) Oleksiy Sokolan stated that neither the land corridor to Crimea nor the announced plans for the construction of roads have anything to do with real business logistics.
The construction of roads declared by Marat Husnullin is another myth, it has as its goal the current – front – goals
“The main mass of roads was built in the middle of the last century and was designed to support the existing economic system, no one built any more branches, neither from east to west, nor from north to south. Nothing was transported from Rostov-on-Don and Taganrog during the last ten years. And earlier this way was used weakly. The main transport role was played by the ports of the Sea of Azov. The construction of roads declared by Marat Husnullin is another myth, it is aimed at future – frontline – goals,” said Oleksiy Sokolan.
As a designer and builder of transport arteries, he believes that the territory of Russia was in no way connected by transport routes from east to west: there was only one such route – the Trans-Siberian, but Moscow was provided with vertical rolling routes from south to north.
“Building roads that meet modern requirements is one thing, but the most important thing is to justify it economically and then be able to service these roads and operate them profitably. Roads must work! How and what kind of goods and cargoes the occupiers and collaborators intend to transport from Crimea and to Crimea is unclear,” the expert concluded.
Annual goals of Russia in the Black Sea region
“Attempts to include the sanctioned and occupied territories in trade routes and trade schemes reduce Russia’s status as an international trade partner to zero and practically do nothing to solve the real logistical problems of the Crimean Peninsula,” Oleg Platonov concluded.
The idea of building the Crimean bridge and its pivotal role in the Black Sea region has been promoted by Russia for a long time. This was preceded by events and conflict on the island of Tuzla in 2002.
In 2006, Russia offered to build ring road around the Black Seathe Kremlin continues to lobby for this project in the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation, taking into account the captured and occupied territories.
On April 22, Russia announced new plans during the “second phase” of the “special operation” in Ukraine (that’s what they call a full-scale invasion): to establish full control over Donbas and southern Ukraine to secure a land corridor to the annexed Crimea and gain access to Transnistria.
Russia’s large-scale war against Ukraine
On February 24, 2022, Russia attacked Ukraine on the ground and in the air along the entire length of the common border. The territory of Belarus was used for the invasion of Kyiv region with the intention of capturing the capital. In the south, the Russian army, in particular, occupied part of the Zaporizhia and Kherson regions, and in the north – the regions of Sumy region and Chernihiv region.
Russian President Vladimir Putin calls the full-scale invasion a “special operation.” Initially, its goal was defined as “demilitarization and denazification”, later – “protection of Donbas”.
The Russian authorities say that the army does not attack civilian objects. At the same time, Russian aviation, missile forces, navy and artillery shell Ukrainian cities every day. Residential buildings and objects of civil infrastructure are subject to destruction throughout the territory of Ukraine.
By mid-July, Ukraine estimated Russia’s losses in the war at more than 38,000 personnel. The Kremlin does not release data on those killed during the invasion, but admits that the losses are “significant”. At the end of June, President Zelensky estimated the ratio of losses of Ukraine and Russia as one to five.
Having not overcome the resistance of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the surviving Russian units withdrew from the territory of Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy regions at the beginning of April.
After the liberation of Kyiv region from Russian troops, facts of mass murders, torture and rape of civilians, including children, were discovered in the cities of Bucha, Irpin, Gostomel and villages of the region. Ukrainian authorities have declared that Russia is committing genocide. Western countries participate in confirming the facts of mass murders. The Russian Federation rejects accusations of war crimes, and calls the killings in Buch “a stage”.
Later, the facts of torture and murder of Ukrainian citizens began to be revealed in almost all settlements that were under Russian occupation.
As of 24:00 on July 31, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights was able to confirm 5,327 deaths and 7,257 injuries of civilians in Ukraine due to the full-scale war started by Russia. At the same time, the organization emphasizes that the real numbers are much higher.