Satellite Images Suggest Naval School Being Built in Mariupol; Russification of Occupied City Also Includes Housing Complexes

Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Pavel Klimov
An aerial view shows burnt-out residential buildings in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 5, 2022.

PARIS — Satellite images from the Ukrainian city of Mariupol have revealed the ongoing construction of a Russian naval school, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

Recent analysis of the images and other information also found that housing complexes, presumably for Russians, are under construction in the occupied city, highlighting signs of further Russianization led by the governmnt of President Vladimir Putin.

After a short-term attempt to seize Kyiv failed, Russian forces destroyed Mariupol and took full control of the city in May 2022.

The Yomiuri Shimbun

An image taken on July 4 last year by Axelspace Corp., a Tokyo-based space startup, showed soil laid bare in Primorsky Park in western Mariupol, indicating construction work underway on the site.

A satellite image taken about two months later showed a group of large buildings in the same location.

Based on local news reports and other information, the buildings are highly likely facilities for an affiliate of a Russian naval academy. The school is reportedly scheduled to open in September with 560 students.

It is possible that Russia is deliberately building a military-related facility in the park, which used to be a place for local people to relax.

The satellite images also show newly built housing complexes in the city’s Nevsky district. A former medic who aided Ukrainian forces in the battle of Mariupol was certain that the buildings were for Russians who have emigrated to the city.