Soldier injured in firing at Russian rally center

07:45 am: Industry in Ukraine, another major casualty of the war

At the huge ArcelorMittal complex, Kryvyï Rig (South), three of the four blast furnaces are shut down and the others idle, as is the iron mine. In Ukraine, the war is hitting industry, the heart of the national economy. The last blast furnace in operation, a huge metal cathedral surrounded by massive pipes, was in low activity when AFP visited. A few workers are circling a small river of glowing metal.

In another hangar on this 70km2 site, two-thirds the size of Paris, billets, large square steel beams, roll out on a vast treadmill. But two similar installations quietly wait, a short distance away, for work to resume. The largest “integrated” site in Ukraine, comprising an iron mine and a steelworks, the Kryvyï Rig complex is a national jewel, purchased by ArcelorMittal in 2005 for $4.85 billion. Its products helped build the world’s tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

But after the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, the campus suffered a major setback. First halted for a month, when Russian troops were at the gates of Krivi Rig, it resumed at a much slower pace. At the end of August, production reached “15 to 20%” of what it was in the first eight months of 2021, estimated Artem Filipeev, deputy director of the site.

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