‘All city departments on alert’: Bomb derails freight train near Ukraine

A high-voltage line was damaged by an explosive device in the Leningrad region (north-west) on Monday amid fears of sabotage and attacks in Russia.

The incidents come a day after a Ukrainian strike killed four people in a village in the Bryansk region and two days after a drone strike caused a major fire at an oil depot in annexed Crimea.

On Monday, the governor of the Bryansk region, Alexander Bogomas, said in a telegram that “an unidentified explosive device was detonated, which led to the derailment of a freight train.”

The incident occurred at 10:17 a.m. local time (07:17 GMT) between Ounetcha and Rassoukha, located about sixty kilometers north of the Ukrainian border, Russian Railways said in separate press releases. Interrupted in this section.

According to this source, the train’s engine and two tanks caught fire after it derailed and was brought under control by firemen in the early hours of the morning. Apart from the locomotive, the company says seven wagons derailed: four of them contained hydrocarbons and the others contained construction materials.

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For its part, the Belarusian Railways indicated in a late afternoon press release that it was one of its trains, which had left the Belarusian city of Komal and was bound for Bryansk.

According to this source, the explosive device detonated “50 meters” from the train. Images broadcast by several media outlets showed the train engine and wagons on fire, lying near the tracks.

A first

Moscow’s ally Belarus, which serves as a base for Russian troops, has already reported sabotage on its railways in recent months and arrested those accused of organizing such activities.

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Russia has faced acts of sabotage at military bases, military recruitment centers and railways since the offensive against Ukraine began in late February 2022.

More than 65 people suspected of involvement in railway sabotage have been arrested in Russia since the crackdown in 20 regions of the country, according to a tally published in mid-April by Russian opposition media outlet Mediazona.

Russian authorities have repeatedly condemned the incursions of Ukrainian armed groups into their territory, particularly in the Bryansk region.

But this is the first time such a spectacular derailment has been publicly announced.

For his part, Leningrad Region Governor Alexander Drostenko said on Monday that a high-voltage line was damaged by an explosive device near the village of Souzanino, fifty kilometers south of St. Petersburg (northwest).

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In a telegram, the governor posted photos showing a downed power pole near a wooded area. According to him, the Russian security services (FSB) have opened an investigation into “sabotage”.

A drone was “shot down” during a Ukrainian “attack” on the city of Sevastopol in annexed Crimea, its governor Mikhail Razvozhaev said in a Telegram, “freed” by the Russian Navy and anti-aircraft defenses.

“All city services are on alert,” he said, without elaborating.

In recent weeks, Russian officials have insisted that the threat of terrorism has increased. Several public events organized in early May on major national holidays were canceled as the threats were deemed too high.

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