A copy of an ambitious Russian plan for the reconstruction of the city of Mariupol — the occupied Ukrainian port city largely reduced to rubble by Russian forces in one of the most brutal battles in the Ukraine conflict to date — was published on Wednesday by Russian news website The Village.
The plan, which covers the period until 2035, sets the restoration of private housing and apartment buildings as Moscow's top priority for the city.
The proposal's authors estimated Mariupol's 2022 population to stand at 212,000, but projected that it would reach the city's pre-war population of 450,000 by 2030.
According to the Ukrainian authorities, more than 20,000 people died during the Russian siege of the city, while many more also fled the city following the invasion.
The Russian plan envisages a revamped manufacturing industry returning as the backbone to the city’s economy — prior to the war, Mariupol was a major center for metallurgy and heavy engineering.
A new industrial park providing employment for some 9,200 people is planned on the territory of the city's Azovstal steel plant — the vast factory complex where Ukrainian forces took refuge from advancing Russian troops that became the focal point of a Russian siege that lasted for weeks before the Ukrainian fighters finally surrendered.
The plan also includes a pledge by the Russian authorities to rebuild the Mariupol Drama Theater, which was controversially shelled by the Russian military on Mar. 16, leaving as many as 600 civilians dead, including many children who had been taking shelter in the building's basement.