• On 24 October 2022, the governor of Russia’s Belgorod region announced that an explosive device had damaged the railway near the village of Novozybkovo, approximately 15km from the Russia-Belarus border. The line is the main rail link between Russia and southern Belarus.
  • The Russian anti-war group ‘Stop the Wagons’ (STW) claimed responsibility for the incident. This is at least the sixth incident of sabotage against Russian railway infrastructure claimed by STW since June.
  • This is part of a wider trend of dissident attacks against railways in both Russian and Belarus. The Russian authorities have previously clamped down on STW’s online presence.
  • The Russia military primarily relies on rail transport for deploying forces to Ukraine, but with a network extending to over 33,000km, largely transiting isolated areas, the system is extremely challenging to secure against physical threats.
  • The Russian leadership will be increasingly concerned that even a small group of citizens has been sufficiently opposed to the conflict to resort to physical sabotage.
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