Ukrainian officials have spoken about a rising incidence of armed resistance in Russian-occupied parts of southern Ukraine.
On Thursday, Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, said that sabotage by the Resistance Movement in Melitopol had resulted in the derailing of a Russian armored train. Melitopol has been occupied by the Russians since early March.
Arestovych claimed that railroad cars carrying personnel and ammunition overturned, detonating the ammunition.
“There was an explosion on the track, not of an armored train. Unfortunately, not a single occupier died in the explosion, they just got away with a minor scare. But what is important — Ukrainian guerrillas in the south are active and effective,” he said.
Ivan Fedorov, the elected mayor of Melitopol, gave a similar account on Thursday. Fedorov is currently not in Melitopol. According to unofficial accounts from the area, the train consisted of 10 wagons, and railway tracks were damaged, the armored train was stopped, and a locomotive with 10 fuel tanks that was following the armored train was also stopped.
Separately, the Zaporizhzhia regional administration noted Thursday that “the Russian military does not allow railroad workers to be involved in track maintenance but continues heavy use of the railway. Such negligence plus actions of the Resistance Movement in Melitopol resulted a Russian armored train being derailed.”
Arestovych indicated that the sabotage was not an isolated incident. “According to the available information, two high ranked Russian officers were eliminated,” he said.
On Wednesday, the Zaporizhzhia military administration also said the guerrilla movement in Melitopol had “eliminated two Russian military servicemen of high rank. The occupiers are trying to conceal this situation. But today the occupiers have been searching private transport especially thoroughly, apparently looking for partisans.”
CNN cannot independently confirm the attacks on the train or the Russian officers.
Arestovych also said that “leaflets are being disseminated all over” in occupied areas,
In recent days, graphic posters depicting Russian soldiers being killed by partisans have begun to appear in occupied parts of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson. It’s unclear how widespread they are.