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New satellite images reveal damage to Russian military airfield after ATACMS strike

by Nate Ostiller October 18, 2023 11:49 PM 2 min read
A satellite images shows the damage to an airfield in Russian-occupied Berdiansk following a strike by Army Tactical Missiles Systems (ATACMS) the day before. (Schemes/ RFE/RL)
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New satellite imagery from Oct. 18 reveals the damage caused to an airfield in Russian-occupied Berdiansk following a strike by Army Tactical Missiles Systems (ATACMS) the day before.

The images, from Planet Labs and published by the Schemes project from RF/ERL's Ukrainian service, show a damaged runway and what appear to be scorch marks where the destroyed helicopters had been parked.

The military airfields in occupied Berdiansk and Luhansk were hit by the U.S.-supplied ATACMS on Oct. 17, marking their first use on the battlefield.

The strikes reportedly destroyed nine helicopters, an air defense system, and an ammunition warehouse, and killed dozens of Russian soldiers.

It was earlier reported on Oct. 18 that the U.S. had provided Ukraine with 20 ATACMS in secret, so as not to alert Russian forces of their presence.

The ATACMS that Ukraine now possesses are an older variation, with a range of up to 165 kilometers.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said that the new weapon at Ukraine's disposal will likely force Russia to make difficult decisions about the locations of their weapons depots behind the front lines and create new challenges for the Russian military's logistics.  

Ukraine war latest: Ukraine uses ATACMS for first time to strike airfields in Russian-occupied territory
Key development on Oct. 17: * Ukraine strikes airfields in Russian-occupied area with ATACMS missiles, destroys 9 Russian helicopters, other equipment, kills Russian troops * U.S. military reportedly says all 31 Abrams tanks arrived in Ukraine. * U.S. to provide nearly $700 million for moderniza…

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