For the second consecutive day, a Russian freight train has been derailed not far from the Ukrainian border, in what appears to be another sabotage attack. These cross-border irregular warfare attacks seem to be stepping up simultaneous to the so-called Ukrainian Spring counteroffensive being stalled.
Reuters is reporting based on local sources that "An explosion derailed a freight train for the second day in a row in a Russian region bordering Ukraine on Tuesday, sending both the locomotive and some cars off the tracks, authorities said."
Bryansk regional governor Alexander Bogomaz confirmed in a Telegram statement, "An unidentified explosive device went off near the Snezhetskaya railway station. There were no casualties." He described that "As a result of the incident, a locomotive and several wagons of a freight train derailed."
The Bryansk region borders both Ukraine and Belarus, and this second sabotage incident happened just to the southeast of Bryansk. With this latest freight disaster, which occurred mid-evening local time, some 20 cars derailed, according to Russian media.
The day prior (Monday), a section of track in the same oblast but which lies even closer to the border with Ukraine was blown up, derailing a train carrying fuel and timber.
Another train sabotage reported in Bryansk region in Western Russia, with 20 cars going off rails after a series of explosions. Russian Railways called it “illegal interference,” per RBC. This is a second incident in two days — yesterday another train carrying fuel was blown up. pic.twitter.com/itpUVN32kC— Mary Ilyushina (@maryilyushina) May 2, 2023
Bryansk has been a region which has seen frequent cross-border attacks throughout the conflict. Over the weekend, projectiles fired from Ukraine killed four people in a Russian village which lies just 10km from the border.
All of this has resulted in speculation over whether the delayed Ukrainian counteroffensive could turn into a focus on irregular cross-border guerrilla tactics.
Already there's been multiple drone attacks, sabotage bombings, as well as assassinations of high-profile Russians. If Ukrainian frontlines collapse, this could unleash more "punishment" inside Russian territory by covert operatives. The Kremlin has frequently also alleged that the US and other NATO countries have supported Ukraine in these black ops.