The Russian army is reportedly bringing its military equipment east, closer to the Azov Sea coast and even to Crimea because of panic following Ukrainian ATACMS long-range missile strikes in Berdyansk.

“The enemy is trying to hide its military equipment even deeper in the rear,” Melitopol Mayor Ivan Federov said on Ukrainian television.

Fedorov said that the Russians are moving materiel out of his city. It’s moving military equipment and setting up training bases and logistics centers for weapons transport in occupied Crimea and to occupied towns along the Azov coast – like Kyrylivka, Pryazovske, Prymorske, and Henichesk.

After occupying parts of the Zaporizhzhia region, the Russian army started using airfields there to store helicopters, equipment, and personnel.


Russian troops have mainly been using the Melitopol airfield for helicopters and as a military base, Federov said.

“They store ammunition, military equipment, and their ‘cannon fodder’ there. That's why we hear about ‘cotton’ (a slang term meaning explosions hitting the Russian military) in Melitopol and at the Melitopol airfield from time to time, and that's why we see that the enemy is being eliminated there,” Fedorov said.

According to Jakub Janowski, an analyst at the Oryx monitoring group said, Russia’s moves are a reaction to Ukraine’s use of long-range ATACMS missiles on airfields in Russian-occupied Berdyansk and Luhansk, which destroyed nine Russian helicopters and damaged 15 more.

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Partisans claim the factory is facing critical problems trying to produce turbojet and turbofan engines as replacements for Western aircraft powerplants, along with rocket motors for missiles.

The Russians are also building a new military base between Mariupol and Berdyansk, Federov said.

ATACMS aren’t the only thing making logistics difficult for the Russians.

Kyiv Post reported on Oct. 13 that Melitopol partisans blew up a Russian train, cutting off a shipment of ammunition and fuel headed for the front line.

On a daily basis, the train had transported ammunition and fuel from Crimea to Melitopol and Dniprorudne, and returning, had carried damaged equipment and loot in the form of iron ore, grain, and other property.


The controlled explosion damaged 150 meters of railroad and a diesel locomotive. Ukraine's Special Operations Forces also said that the railroad track was damaged.

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