Russian railway targeted deep in the country, likely from Ukraine sabotage

KYIV — Ukraine hinted Monday that its agents were responsible for an explosion on a Russian railway bridge used to transport ammunition, in what appears to be the latest successful operation targeting infrastructure deep behind enemy lines as Ukrainian forces struggle against advancing Russian troops.

Ukraine’s military intelligence agency, the GUR, said Monday that the explosion on the railway bridge in Russia’s Samara region — about 650 miles from the Ukrainian border — occurred about 6 a.m. local time. “Its use in the next few weeks is impossible,” the agency said in a post on the Telegram social media app.

The GUR did not directly assert responsibility for the attack, but this wouldn’t be the first time Ukraine’s security services have targeted military rail routes in Russia — a hybrid warfare technique that has increased as Russia has regained the offensive initiative along the front line in Ukraine.

Zelensky in bind over how to draft more troops as Russian forces advance

The Security Service of Ukraine, or SBU, was responsible for December explosions on railway links between Russia and North Korea in the Buryatia region, about 3,750 miles east of Ukraine, according to Ukrainian intelligence officials.

“Such actions are important in any case. These are legitimate military objectives that must be destroyed — that is, everything that allows the Russian Federation to create, provide and use an amassing of troops,” said Mykola Bielieskov, a military analyst at the government-run National Institute for Strategic Studies in Ukraine.

It’s unclear how much the attacks have hindered Russia’s ability to resupply its forces at the front. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said recently that Russia maintains a significant ammunition advantage, firing seven times as much as Ukrainian forces. Though Kyiv is no stranger to shell shortages, the deficit has become especially acute as security assistance from Washington has stopped with the White House’s requested $60 billion aid package stalled in Congress.

The resource issues on the battlefield — Ukrainian commanders have said they also lack sufficient personnel — have allowed Russia to advance in recent weeks, capturing the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka and several surrounding villages. Ukrainian officials have privately cautioned that Kyiv is unlikely to attempt another counteroffensive this year, especially without an increase in Western aid soon.

Inside Ukraine’s last stand in Avdiivka and its ‘road of death’

Guerrilla tactics, such as Monday morning’s explosion on the rail bridge, have taken on heightened importance as a result. While attacks on Russian territory were rare during the first year of the war — and were once considered out of the realm of Ukraine’s capabilities — they have since become regular occurrences. Some are done with drones, while others require operatives on the ground to plant explosives.

Russian officials confirmed an explosion on the bridge but said the damage was minimal. Although train traffic was suspended, Russian emergency services told the Russian Interfax news agency that the bridge supports were not damaged and that repairs would take just several hours.

“Sappers have found and neutralized another explosive device, a dud, at the location where the railroad bridge over the Chapayevka River was blown up,” Alexander Khinshtein, a member of parliament for the Samara region, said on Telegram.

The GUR also said Monday that its hackers gained access to Russian Defense Ministry servers, swiping secret military documents. The claim could not be independently verified.

“The information obtained allows us to establish the complete structure of the system of the Russian Ministry of Defense and its units,” the GUR said in a post on Telegram.

Anastacia Galouchka in Kyiv and Natalia Abbakumova in Riga, Latvia, contributed to this report.

Previous post Alaska Airlines Passengers Suing for $1 Billion
Next post Bruce Willis wife attacks tabloid media over hubby health