Mariupol, May 2 — DAN. Russian President Vladimir Putin and St Petersburg governor Alexander Beglov have taken part in the ceremony for launching tram service in Mariupol via video link on Tuesday.

The city stopped tram traffic in the winter of 2022 as its transport infrastructure was damaged during hostilities.

“The first tram route was opened here almost exactly 90 years ago, on May 1, 1933, and that this type of transport was very popular for many years, ” Putin said. In March, during my trip to Mariupol, my colleagues and I talked about the city’s main problems, including the need to restore tram service. Today, over ten kilometers of track are being put into operation. This is only the beginning. In the future, we will develop the transport infrastructure in the city, including the efforts to increase the number of routes and update the long-obsolete public transport fleet.”

The tram service launching ceremony was attended by Donetsk People’s Republic Acting Head Denis Pushilin, city mayor Oleg Morgun and transport industry veterans from St Petersburg.

“It’s been less than a year, and now we see a completely different picture in the city. If you visit Mariupol for the first time now, you’ll see many remainders of that aggression on the part of Ukraine, but if you see everything in moving fashion — it’s an absolutely different picture from what was a year ago, ” Pushilin told reporters before the ceremony.

On Tuesday, the city launched Tram Route No 1 from the tram depot to City Hospital No 2. The streetcars sported air balloons with Russian flag colors. Mariupol rolled out 13 trams on Tuesday; tram rides will be free.

Mariupol put its tram system in operation on May 1, 1933. Previously, there were seven tram routes in the city. *jk