Over 20 Russian Ka-52, Mi-8 evacuate from Berdyansk after ATACMS strike
Invading Russian army has begun to pull its aircraft away from the front, fearing new missile strikes
Satellite imagery has been made publicly available, which shows that as of 29 October 2023, the Russian invaders removed all their helicopters from the airport in the temporarily occupied Berdyansk, Defense Express reports.
And this happened a little less than 2 weeks after this Russian-occupied airport was attacked on 17 October 2023 with M39 ATACMS tactical missiles with cluster warheads.
The image was posted on his Twitter page by military analyst Brady Africk.
We can also compare the above image with a satellite image of the same airfield in the temporarily occupied Berdyansk from 29 September 2023. And there we can identify more than 20 Russian helicopters such as Ka-52 and Mi-8, which is essentially (almost) an air regiment.
This implies that the aforementioned period of a little less than 2 weeks was needed for the Russian army to evacuate the entire helicopter regiment and accompanying support services. At the same time, it is debatable how many Russian Ka-52s and Mi-8s were able to leave the base on their own, and how many of these aircraft had to be delivered by ground transport.
So far, we only have a general estimate from Oryx analyst Jakub Janowski that as a result of the ATACMS missile strike on Russian occupiers' airfields in Berdyansk and Luhansk, the Russian Armed Forces lost a total of 15 Ka-52s and nine Mi-8s destroyed or damaged.
But on the other hand, this was the first confirmation of the predictions that, amid the threat from the new ATACMS at the disposal of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the Russian army would begin to pull back and disperse its aircraft away from the front line.