The Russian state-owned news agency TASS reported that at around 2 a.m. on the morning of Tuesday, May 14, several tanker cars from a freight train carrying petroleum products were derailed close to the Kotluban railway station, in Russia’s Volgograd Oblast, around 300 kilometers from the Ukrainian border.

Originally attributed by Russia’s railway authorities to “interference by unauthorized persons,” the incident has now been put down to an attack by a Ukrainian kamikaze drone according to the Russian Baza Telegram channel.

As a result, Baza reported that a total of nine freight cars had left the track, two tanks caught fire and another tank was ruptured, spilling fuel on the ground which also ignited. Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations said the resulting fire had been contained and extinguished by around 3:30 a.m., although the Baza report said the fire was still going at around 7 a.m. Moscow time.

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RIA Novosti reported that a diesel fuel tanker and a car carrying lumber caught fire which had been extinguished by 6:40 a.m. and one rail line had reopened shortly thereafter.

As a result of the derailment there were cancellations and delays on both freight and passenger train services between Volgograd and St. Petersburg, according to a Volga Railway’s warning issued on Tuesday morning.

This is not the first attack against trains operating on Russian territory that have been linked to Ukrainian intelligence services. In June 2023, two kamikaze drones derailed a 15-car freight train in the Belgorod region extensively damaging the railway track. Sabotage attacks against the Baikal-Amur railway in Russia’s Buryatia Republic in late November and early December claimed by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

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On the night of Nov. 29-30, an explosion set fire to a freight train, carrying diesel and jet fuel, passing through the Severomuysky tunnel, destroying 19 of around 50 rail cars on the train and severely damaging the line and blocking the tunnel.

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That attack forced Russian Railways to use a bypass route on which another train carrying fuel was attacked as it crossed the “Chortov Most” (Devil’s Railway Bridge) later the same day, destroying six tanker cars and causing a serious fire in the surrounding area. Both attacks were also claimed by the SBU, which considers Moscow’s military transport facilities and infrastructure to be legitimate and priority targets for Ukraine.

Kyiv Post asked its sources within Ukraine’s intelligence structures for a comment on today’s attack, but they declined, saying they were still assessing and verifying reports on the incident.

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