Ukrainian officials have spoken of a growing number of armed resistance in Russian-occupied parts of southern Ukraine.
On Thursday, Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, said sabotage by the resistance movement in Melitopol had led to the derailment of a Russian armored train. Melitopol has been occupied by the Russians since the beginning of March.
Arestovych claimed that train carriages carrying personnel and ammunition overturned, causing the ammunition to explode.
“There was an explosion on the track, not from an armored train. Unfortunately, no occupier died in the explosion, they got away with a little scare. But what is important – Ukrainian guerrillas in the south are active and effective,” he said.
Ivan Fedorov, the elected mayor of Melitopol, made a similar statement on Thursday. Fedorov is currently not in Melitopol. According to unofficial reports from the area, the train consisted of 10 cars and the tracks were damaged, the armored train was stopped and a locomotive with 10 fuel tanks following the armored train was also stopped.
Separately, the Zaporizhzhya regional administration noted on Thursday that “the Russian army does not allow railway workers to be involved in the maintenance of the track, but continues to make intensive use of the track. Such negligence and actions by the resistance movement in Melitopol resulted in a derailment from a Russian armored train.”
Arestovych indicated that the sabotage was not an isolated incident. “According to the available information, two high-ranking Russian officers have been eliminated,” he said.
On Wednesday, Zaporizhzhya’s military government also said that the guerrilla movement in Melitopol had “eliminated two high-ranking Russian soldiers. The occupiers are trying to hide this situation. But today, the occupiers searched very thoroughly private transport, apparently looking for partisans.”
DailyExpertNews cannot independently confirm the attacks on the train or the Russian officers.
Arestovych also said that “leaflets are being distributed everywhere” in occupied territories,
In the occupied parts of Zaporizhia and Kherson, graphic posters have appeared in recent days depicting Russian soldiers being killed by partisans. It is unclear how widespread they are.