Behind Enemy Lines, Ukrainians Tell Russians ‘You Are Never Safe’

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine — They sneak down darkened alleys to set explosives. They identify Russian targets for Ukrainian artillery and long-range rockets provided by the United States. They blow up rail lines and assassinate Ukrainian officials they consider collaborators with the Russians.

Slipping back and forth across the front lines, the guerrilla fighters are known in Ukraine as partisans, and in recent weeks they have taken an ever more prominent role in the war, rattling Russian forces by helping deliver humiliating blows in areas they occupy and thought to be safe.

Increasingly, Ukraine is taking the fight against Russian forces into Russian-controlled areas, whether by using elite military units, like the one credited on Tuesday with a huge explosion at a Russian ammunition depot in the occupied Crimean Peninsula, or by deploying an underground network of the partisan guerrillas.

Last week, Ukrainian officials said, the partisans had a hand in a successful strike on a…

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This article was written by Andrew E. Kramer and originally published on www.nytimes.com