(Moscow) An “explosive device” derailed and set fire to a freight train in the Russian region of Bryansk bordering Ukraine on Monday, without causing any casualties, according to a local official.
In full fear of sabotage operations and attacks in Russia, a high voltage line was also damaged on Monday by an explosive device in the Leningrad region (Northwest).
The incidents come a day after a Ukrainian strike that killed four people in a village in the Bryansk region and two days after a drone attack that caused a huge fire at an oil depot in annexed Crimea.
On Monday, Alexander Bogomaz, the governor of the Bryansk region bordering Ukraine, said on Telegram that “an unidentified explosive device went off, which led to the derailment of a freight train. No casualties.”
In separate statements, the Russian Railways company said the incident took place at 10:17 a.m. local time (3:17 a.m. Eastern time) between the localities of Ounetcha and Rassoukha, located approximately one sixty kilometers north of the Ukrainian border, and that traffic was interrupted on this section.
According to this source, the train’s locomotive and two tanks caught fire after derailing and the fire was brought under control by firefighters in the early afternoon.
The company claims that, in addition to the locomotive, seven cars derailed: four of them contained hydrocarbons, the others construction materials.
She does not mention the presence of explosives at this time and simply says that the incident was caused by “the intervention of outsiders”.
Footage released by several Russian media showed the front of the train and several freight cars on fire, lying in the grass near the tracks.
Russia has already faced acts of sabotage on military bases, army recruitment centers and even on railways since the start of the offensive against Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
But this is the first time that such a spectacular derailment has been publicly reported.
For his part, the governor of the Leningrad region, Alexander Drozdenko, said on Monday that a high-voltage line had been damaged by an explosive device near the village of Soussanino, about fifty kilometers south of Saint Petersburg.
On Telegram, the governor posted photos showing a toppled electricity pylon lying on the ground near a wooded area. According to him, the Russian security services (FSB) have opened an investigation for “sabotage”.
In early April, FSB boss Alexander Bortnikov accused Ukraine and the West of trying to incite the Russians to sabotage and armed rebellion.
In recent weeks, the Russian authorities have been insisting that the terrorist risk has increased. Many public events organized in early May for major national holidays were canceled due to threats deemed too high.