There were talks of sabotage on the railways, that could complicate the movement of trains with weapons, in the first months of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Many channels appeared that published instructions for partisans and took responsibility for the acts of sabotage, but security forces began to report on the detention of saboteurs only in the autumn of 2022.
In the Russian Federation, the Combatant Organization of Anarcho-Communists (COAC) and Stop the Wagons movements announced their sabotage activities on the railway infrastructure. According to The Insider, 63 freight trains derailed in the Russian Federation from March to June 2023, which is almost one and a half times more than during the same period last year. At the same time, the geography of wagon accidents shifted to the west, and part of the trains got into accidents next to the military units. Although, according to the Russian Railways and the inspection authorities, half of the accidents occurred due to the poor condition of the railway tracks.
The COAC representatives took responsibility not only for dismantling rails and railway sabotage, but also for setting fire to cell towers (for example, in Belomestsene village in the Belgorod region) and even for blowing up cars of people who support the actions of the Russian leadership. According to the anarchists, their activities were largely inspired by the actions of the Belarusian partisans, who effectively resisted the Russian invasion through the territory of Belarus at the beginning of the war.
The Stop Wagons movement in Russia has taken responsibility, for example, for the derailment of wagons in the Amur region, which stopped traffic on the Trans-Siberian line, for the derailment of trains in Tver, several wagons with coal in Krasnoyarsk, freight trains in Krasnoyarsk region at the Lesosibirsk station, in Makhachkala and on the Oktiabrskaya railway near the Babaevo station, as well as for an explosive device that damaged the railway tracks in the vicinity of Novozybkov. This incident was mentioned in a tweet by the Ministry of Defense of Great Britain with reference to the military intelligence of the country. According to the map published by the movement, its activists operate on more than 30% of the territory of the aggressor country.
The Cooperation movement reports that the “rail war” on the territory of the Russian Federation is carried out by Belarusian partisans-activists of the Storks fly initiative, which are part of this movement. Partisan groups of this movement held numerous actions in the Smolensk and Bryansk regions with the aim of slowing down the railway transportation of Putin’s troops. As a result of successfully carried out sorties, signaling, centralization and blocking devices were destroyed in several areas. Several centralization and blocking devices relay cabinets were destroyed.
The Russian authorities were forced to strengthen security measures on the railways. The Federal Security Service has repeatedly reported the arrest of the “terrorists” allegedly involved in sabotage on the railway, but this did not help to suppress the resistance movement.
The struggle with the ruling Kremlin power is going not only from the outside, but also from the inside, so the disintegration of this under-empire is inevitable.
The materials were prepared by Polina Romanova, the Ukrainian Women’s Guard, for the Free Idel-Ural