The Ukrainian drone assault on Friday on a Russian warship in Novorossiysk, Russia, served as one other blow for the Russian Navy, which operates a base in the Black Sea port metropolis.
It additionally signaled that Moscow’s financial system is ever extra squarely in Ukraine’s cross hairs, bringing the conflict to considered one of Russia’s most crucial industrial ports.
Here is a have a look at the port and its significance for Moscow:
What is Novorossiysk?
The Novorossiysk industrial seaport is considered one of Russia’s largest by quantity and amongst the greatest in Europe — a serious node in the export of Russian grain, oil, and different merchandise to nations round the world.
It has been a hub of worldwide commerce for Russia since the 19th century and the metropolis was additionally the web site of the first Pepsi manufacturing unit in Russia, opened in the Soviet Union in the early 1970s throughout the Cold War détente.
Before his unlawful annexation of Crimea in 2014, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia allotted vital sources to the development of the naval base at Novorossiysk, turning the port into considered one of the nation’s major naval hubs for the Black Sea. On the identical day that the port was hit, a drone assault additionally focused Feodosia, a Russian-controlled port in Crimea.
How necessary is Novorossiysk for Russia’s financial system?
The port is a major export hub for grain, given its proximity to Russia’s greatest grain-producing areas and its location on the Black Sea, which permits for straightforward exports to Africa, Asia and South America, as well as to Europe.
At a summit with African leaders final week in St. Petersburg, Russia, Mr. Putin promised free grain to quite a few African nations — grain that doubtless can be exported from Russia by way of Novorossiysk.
What does the assault imply for Russia?
The assault, and the subsequent pause in maritime site visitors at the port, prompted wheat futures to rise on Friday, a sign of Novorossiysk’s significance to the international grain commerce. Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter.
The Caspian Pipeline Consortium, which operates an oil terminal at Novorossiysk, mentioned the assault prompted a short lived halt on the motion of ships in the port. It was unclear whether or not any oil export infrastructure was broken in the assault.
If strikes proceed round the port — whose industrial operator is below European Union sanctions — the outcome might be vital financial disruption for Russia.
The assault on Friday might be “a powerful shock to the Russian economy,” the Russian pro-government Telegram channel Readovka Explains posted on Friday, calling for an “immediate response” by Moscow.