Russia’s presence in parts of southern Ukraine is becoming more tenuous as Ukrainian long-range systems — many of them supplied by Western allies — target their supply lines, Ukrainian officials said.
Ivan Fedorov, mayor of occupied Melitopol in the Zaporizhzhia region, said the destruction of a railway bridge southwest of the city at the weekend had further complicated Russian resupply routes.
Fedorov, who is not in the city, said on Ukrainian television that “the enemy uses Melitopol as a logistics center for the transportation, trans-shipment of ammunition and heavy weapons. The enemy transports most of the ammunition by rail. On the night August 13- August 14, a railway bridge was blown up. The enemy still cannot restore it; the rubble is being dismantled.
“We see the migration of military personnel from Kherson to Melitopol. Military personnel take their families out of Melitopol.”
The Russians had stepped up security in Melitopol, checking the local population, he added. “Mass filtering of local civilians continues in Melitopol, in people’s homes, on the streets,” he said.
Fedorov said the Russian security service (FSB), Russian reserve guards and special Chechen units were present in the city.
Up to 6,000 people were waiting in line for evacuation, he said. “People wait for five to seven days, spend the night on the roadsides. It is faster to leave through Crimea, people use this route as well,” he said.
Kherson attacks: Meanwhile, Serhii Khlan, adviser to the head of Kherson Civil Military Administration, told Ukrainian television on Monday that persistent attacks by Ukrainian forces on bridges across the Dnipro River had caused serious difficulties for Russian forces.
“The impossibility of (the Russians) supplying ammunition allows us to say that if they cannot resolve the issue of crossing to the Dnipro right bank in the next two weeks, then they will have no other opportunity than to leave their positions,” he said.
A substantial part of the Russian occupying force is on the right (northern) bank of the Dnipro, in Kherson city and further upstream. Khlan claimed the Russians had moved their command headquarters to the southern bank of the Dnipro.