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Russians move helicopters from occupied Berdiansk to Taganrog, Russia

Wednesday, 1 November 2023, 15:29
Russians move helicopters from occupied Berdiansk to Taganrog, Russia

The Russians have moved Ka-52 and Mi-8 helicopters from the occupied Ukrainian city of Berdiansk to Taganrog, Russia, following an ATACMS attack on an airfield.

Source: Defense Express, citing imagery posted by military analyst Brady Africk

Details: Military analyst Brady Africk tweeted evidence that Russian helicopters had been redeployed from Berdiansk to Taganrog.


Satellite imagery shows that the Russians concentrated 21 of their Ka-52 and Mi-8 helicopters at the military air base in Taganrog on 31 October 2023.

Reportedly, these were helicopters that the Russian army had kept at the airport in occupied Berdiansk before it was attacked by Ukraine’s Defence Forces with ATACMS tactical missile launch systems on 17 October 2023, and which were removed from there as of 29 October, less than two weeks after the strike.

The image only shows the sudden appearance of the same number of helicopters at the base in Taganrog, which was previously used as a base for Su-25SM3 ground attack jets.

It is not known whether the Russians transported the damaged helicopters there over land, or whether the intact helicopters flew there independently to support Russian troops on other fronts.

In terms of distances to the front line, it is 130 km from Taganrog to Volnovakha, and roughly 120 km from temporarily occupied Berdiansk to the front line on the Zaporizhzhia front.

The declared flight range of the Ka-52 is up to 480 km.

Defense Express does not rule out that the Russians may want to use Taganrog not only as a new air base for their attack helicopters, but also as a kind of "staging post" for repairing their army aircraft in the event of further ATACMS strikes by the Defence Forces of Ukraine against Russian airfields.

There is an aircraft repair plant in Taganrog, but up to now it has focused solely on the repair and maintenance of A-50 and A-50U radar surveillance aircraft.


  • On the night of 16-17 October, the Armed Forces of Ukraine launched attacks on airfields near the occupied cities of Berdiansk and Luhansk.
  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed that Ukraine used ATACMS missiles for the attacks. The Western media reported that the US had secretly supplied Kyiv with these missiles.
  • Ukraine’s General Staff initially reported that two helicopters, an ammunition storage point and an artillery system had been hit. Special Operations Forces later reported that nine helicopters, special equipment, an air defence launcher and an ammunition storage point had been struck. The General Staff later specified that six helicopters had been hit.
  • Satellite images from 18 October show damaged sites at the airfield near occupied Berdiansk.
  • Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, stated that the US will regularly supply Ukraine with long-range ATACMS missiles. 

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