Ukraine’s SBU Blew Up Baikal–Amur Rail Bridge in Buryatia Sabotaging Russia’s Major Rail Link to China

During the passage of the train on this 35m-high bridge, explosive devices planted in it went off

A crucial rail link between Russia and China thousands of miles away from the frontline in Ukraine was sabotaged in an operation directed by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), it has been reported.

Since the start of Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion, Russian authorities have blamed Ukraine for attacks on its infrastructure, such as train lines and military storage facilities.

Ukrainian media outlets said Kyiv was behind two blasts in Russia’s far east within 24 hours. The railway provides an important supply line for logistics coming from China and North Korea. Putin is increasingly relying on the two countries for military support in the war. Newsweek has contacted Russia’s Investigative Committee for comment by email.

In the first incident, a freight train caught fire while passing through the nine-mile Severomuysky Tunnel on the Baikal-Amur Mainline in the Republic of Buryatia on Wednesday night, forcing 50 carriages carrying diesel and jet fuel to stop.

Telegram channel Baza reported that 16 tanks at the front of the train were completely burned out and the railway line itself was damaged, making it hard to remove them from the tunnel.

A criminal case has been launched by the Eastern Interregional Transport Investigation Department, according to Russian newspaper Kommersant. Preliminary information points to an explosive device installed under the bottom of one of the carriages. State news agency Interfax reported there were no casualties. Newsweek has yet to substantiate this.

During the passage of the train on this 35m-high bridge, explosive devices planted in it went off

“This is exactly what the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) was counting on,” said the official.

“During the passage of the train on this 35m-high bridge, explosive devices planted in it went off.”

The second explosion has not been corroborated elsewhere although Russian telegram channel Baza has reported that another train was later blown up in the same area.

This illustrative image shows the Baikal-Amur Mainline Railway crossing in the city of Tynde, Siberia. Ukrainian intelligence sabotaged part of the key rail link between Russia and China on November 30 and December 1, 2023, it has been reported. Getty Images

The incidents appear to have happened on Wednesday and Thursday, with no known casualties.

According to reports, the explosions have caused damage to fuel tanks and rail lines.

There’s been no official or public comment from the Russian government.

After the blast, trains were diverted along a bypass route via a 100-foot-high bridge, which Ukrainian intelligence had anticipated, but that was subject to another explosion on Friday.

“This is exactly what the SBU was counting on—when the train was passing over this 35-meter-high bridge, the explosive devices embedded in it went off,” Ukrainian law enforcement sources told BBC News Ukrainian, according to a translation.

In the second incident, four tanks were completely burnt out and two more were damaged by fire and fuel, spread out over an area of 150 square meters [1,615 square feet].

BBC News Ukrainian reported the sources as describing it as “another successful SBU special operation.”

“Russian special services should get used to the fact that our people are everywhere. Even in distant Buryatia,” another Ukrainian intelligence source said, according to Ukrainska Pravda.

Baza reported that travel is still blocked through the tunnel, which Ukrainian intelligence had observed was being used by the Russian military to transfer equipment and supplies on the railway.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) U.S.-based independent think tank said that there are no indications that the explosions on Friday will cause long-term disruptions.

© 2023, GDC. © GDC and Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.