Satellite Imagery Shows a Large Number of Helicopters at Russia’s Millerovo Airbase

Satellite imagery from Airbus dated May 29 has shown that Russia has been using the air base at Millerovo as a forward operating base (FOB) for helicopter operations. Around 20 helicopters were observed at the air base, located between the runway and the taxiway. Vehicle tracks are also visible near the helicopters possibly indicating crew movement near the helicopters.

A number of the helicopters visible seem to be of the Mi-8/17 series. These are general utility helicopters used for troop transport, medical evacuations and other purposes. However, they can also be equipped with rocket and gun pods for the attack role. Some versions can also carry ATGMs.

Helicopters at Millerovo

Millerovo is one of the closest airbases to the border with Ukraine being less than 40kms from the border. Considering recent Russian gains near Popasna and Lyman it is possible that these helicopters are being used for operations in Donbass and other areas.

Also seen at the base are 25 Su-25 attack aircraft and 5 Su-30SM aircraft indicating that regular fighter operations are continuing out of Millerovo. Both of these aircraft were also seen on previous imagery from May 13.

Millerovo along with Morozovsk, Buturlinovka, Voronezh and Kursk are the major frontline bases for Russia in the conflict and are critical to Russian aerial operations in Ukraine. This base had been struck by Ukrainian forces using Tochka-U missiles on February 25. It likely remains a major target for Ukrainian forces given the persistent presence of Russian airpower.