Explosive Sabotage in Russia: Train Derails, Ammunition Factory Ablaze

Acts of sabotage on Russian railways threaten front-line supplies and expose severe security flaws.

In Russia, two suspected acts of sabotage have been reported: the derailment of a freight train in the Ryazan region and an explosion at an ammunition factory in Kotovsk in the Tambov region. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports that in the train accident, which resulted in the derailment of 19 wagons, at least one railway employee was injured. Local media reported an explosion just before the train’s derailment near Rybnoye, about 125 miles southeast of Moscow, possibly caused by an improvised explosive device.

Explosion in Kotovsk: Gunpowder Factory Engulfed in Flames

In the second incident in Kotovsk, a fire broke out following an explosion at a gunpowder factory. The Ministry of Emergency Situations confirmed the fire but reported no fatalities or injuries. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. Notably, four people died in an explosion at the same factory in June of this year.

These incidents, which have increased since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, could impair the military supply to the Russian front line. The Tambow Gunpowder Factory, the scene of the latest incident, is one of the largest producers in the ammunition and specialty chemicals industry, supplying the Russian Army, Navy, and Air Force with pyroxylin powder for various weapon and artillery systems.

Image: Artem Svetlov, RZD ED4M-0225 2008-10 Bykovo 1225032700, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons, (no changes made)

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