The Ukrainian Atesh partisan movement reported via Telegram that Russia has started restoring and likely modernizing airfields farther east in occupied Crimea.

Additionally, Atesh agents, infiltrating various units of the Russian Armed Forces, reported that Russian troops have begun evacuating some of their personnel from the Dzhankoi region – which the Ukrainians struck last month with drones – in north-central Crimea.

“At the same time, the restoration and likely modernization of airfields in the depths of Crimea, such as Kirovske (in the Feodosia region) and Bagerovo (in the Kerch region), have begun at an active pace,” the report said.

Administrative divisions of the Republic of Crimea and Autonomous Republic of Crimea (before the 2020 reform). Source: WikiCommons

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The partisans claimed that despite their efforts, the Russians won’t be able to build enclosed shelters for their aircraft anytime soon due to the technology, construction cost, and time required.

“The actions of the occupiers indicate their desire to disperse their troops and equipment in Crimea in anticipation of new successful attacks by the Ukrainian Defense Forces,” the report reads.

Russia Cynically Places Military Sites Close to Civilian Areas in Crimea
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Russia Cynically Places Military Sites Close to Civilian Areas in Crimea

Russian milbloggers criticize Crimean authorities for failing to build shelters and not warning civilians about the missile threat, while encouraging Crimean despite the war.

Atesh reported that an overnight attack on May 23-24 in the city of Alushta, Crimea, hit military unit No. 28735, an important Russian troop communications hub.

“It appears that significant damage was done to the equipment and many occupiers were eliminated. Likely, the control point of this center was also destroyed,” the partisans said.

“We are waiting for official confirmation from the Defense Forces of Ukraine.”

Last month, Ukrainian military intelligence (HUR) stated that Kyiv “destroyed or critically damaged” four of Russia’s most powerful air defense system launchers, the S-400, in its early morning attack on the Dzhankoi Military Airfield.

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The April 17 attack also took out three radar stations, an air defense equipment control point, and “Fundament-M” airspace surveillance equipment. Casualties are still being clarified, HUR said.

The pro-Ukrainian milblogger Krymsky Veter claimed that at least 30 Russian service personnel died and more than 80 were injured in the strikes. The wounded were reportedly transported to hospitals in Russia’s main naval base, Sevastopol.

The United States had secretly provided long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine as part of a $300 million military aid package approved by President Joe Biden on March 12, according to Reuters, citing an American official.

These missiles, with a range of up to 300 kilometers, were reportedly first used in the Dzhankoi Military Airfield strike.

On Thursday, May 23, Atesh also reported the unloading of a train carrying Russian military equipment at a freight station in Yevpatoria, occupied Crimea. They reported that a platoon of T-72 tanks, BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles, and ammunition was unloaded.

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Atesh partisans regularly report on what they see the Russian military doing. Sometimes they also directly destroy or damage Russian materiel, such as in February, when they reported tampering with Russian tanks stationed at the Yevpatoria railway station that were headed to the front line.

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