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Kyiv Says Sabotaged Russian Railway in Siberia

The Severomuysky train tunnel in the Siberia republic of Buryatia. MOROVICTOR (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Ukraine claimed on Friday to have orchestrated attacks on a Russian railway line in Siberia, thousands of kilometers away from the frontline in eastern Ukraine.

Russian authorities have reported several attacks on the country's transport infrastructure since it launched its invasion of Ukraine last year, often blaming Kyiv.

"The Russians have fallen into the [Ukrainian military intelligence] SBU's trap twice another fuel train has exploded on the Baikal-Amur railway," a source in Ukrainian law enforcement agencies told AFP.

The source said the alleged attack on Friday was a follow-up to an explosion on Wednesday night involving a train passing through the remote Siberian republic of Buryatia.

There was no immediate response from the Russian side to the latest incident, but Moscow confirmed a train crew earlier this week had spotted smoke in a fuel tank and called firefighters to the scene.

On Friday, the Russian business daily Kommersant, citing multiple sources familiar with the matter, said that investigators had opened a criminal probe into Wednesday's incident and that the fire on the train was likely caused by an unidentified explosive device.

"Russian special services should get used to the fact that our people are everywhere. Even in distant Buryatia," the anonymous Ukrainian source told AFP.

The source added that the second attack had targeted an alternative train route along the same railway, over the Chortov Bridge, which is also in the republic of Buryatia.

"This is exactly what the SBU was counting on  as the train was passing over this high 35-meter bridge, the explosive devices planted in it detonated."

The Baikal–Amur railway is over 4,000 kilometers long and runs adjacent to the borders of China and Mongolia.

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