Painter Anna Abramova used to live in Donetsk but was displaced because of the war. In Mariupol, she struggles to make a living as a website designer [Mansur Mirovalev/Al Jazeera]
Mariupol, Ukraine – The sea blockade cost Alexey Pilipchuk his job.
The 54-year-old used to bus workers to the Azovstal, a mammoth, Communist-era plant that resembles a backdrop for a post-apocalyptic movie.
Azovstal churns out steel slabs and emits toxic, putrid fumes that blanket Mariupol, a city of more than 500,000 in southeastern Ukraine.
Mariupol is Ukraine’s principal port on the Sea of Azov, a shallow body of water between Ukraine, Russia and the Russia-annexed Crimean Peninsula.
Steel amounts to two-thirds of exports from Mariupol’s seaport, followed by iron ore, grain and sunflower oil.