Ukraine Claims Responsibility for Blowing Up Railway Bridge Deep in Russian Interior

Ukraine has taken responsibility for “disabling” a railway bridge in the Russian mainland region of Samara after explosions were seen in the early hours of Monday morning.

Apparently continuing with the strategy to take the war closer to home for Russians, the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine (DIU) confirmed “disabling railway bridge in Russia’s Samara region,” state media Ukrinform reported.

In a post on social media, the Ukrainian intelligence service wrote: “The Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine confirmed the fact that the railway bridge over the Chapayevka River in was disabled.”

The DIU claimed that the railway was used by the “aggressor state to transport military cargo” including “engineered ammunition produced by the Polimer JSC plant in Chapayevsk, Samara region.”

The intelligence service said that in light of the damage sustained during the explosion, it is likely that the bridge will be out of commission for at least the next few weeks.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) confirmed to state news agency TASS that a “blast” was heard at the railway bridge at around 5:13 am local time on Monday and that train traffic has since been suspended.

Local emergency services told the Russian news outlet that they believed an explosive device was planted at the base of the bridge’s footing and that support structures and a fence for the bridge were damaged near banks of the the river.

Alexander Khinshtein, the representative for the Samara Region in Russia’s Duma legislature, claimed that the bridge was not seriously damaged and no one was injured. He went on to claim that officers discovered another explosive device that had not gone off during the apparent act of sabotage.

“At the blast site on the railway bridge across the River Chapayevka in the Samara Region, bomb specialists found and disposed of one more live explosive device,” Khinshtein said. “Ukraine’s intelligence has claimed responsibility for this pointless, as a matter of fact, act of sabotage.”×280&!b&btvi=2&fsb=1&dtd=8909

With the frontlines in the war devolving into a stalemate situation, in which large-scale movements are often prohibited by both sides using drones to surveil each other’s positions, attacking Russian infrastructure has become a key element in Kyiv’s strategy, with the sabotage of railways and bridges to disrupt shipments of Russian military supplies being a chief aim.

“The war in Ukraine is changing right now, as Ukraine increases the number of guerrilla operations against Russian forces and decreases conventional operations,” said Seth G. Jones of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told the New York Times in December, adding: “The goal is to deliver death by a thousand cuts.”

The latest attack comes in the wake of international controversy after Moscow leaked a recording purporting to show high-ranking German military officials discussing the possibility of helping Ukraine blow up a bridge connecting the Russian mainland to the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

Although the German defence ministry has confirmed that the recordings were authentic, it has said that it is currently unsure if they were modified by the Russians. The Kremlin has claimed that the recordings demonstrate that the West is waging a “hybrid war” against Russia through the proxy of Ukraine.

Moscow has previously accused Kyiv of being responsible for a truck explosion which partially destroyed Crimea’s Kerch Strait Bridge in October of 2022, claiming that it was a “terrorist” plot conducted by the Ukrainian Defence Ministry. Kyiv initially denied involvement, however, Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) chief Vasyl Malyuk later admitted that the sabotage was carried out by his agency. The critical bridge was also attacked by the Ukrainian navy last year, which used sea drones strapped with explosives.

Ukraine has also attacked several railways and rail bridges in Russian territory, prompting the return of Russian armoured trains as it attempts to keep its resupply lines to its war against Ukraine open.

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