An explosion derailed another freight train in a Russian region near Ukraine, authorities say, adding there were no casualties.
An explosion derailed a freight train in a Russian region bordering Ukraine for the second day in a row, knocking both the locomotive and some cars off the tracks, authorities said.
Tuesday’s incident took place in the western Bryansk region, which borders both Ukraine and Belarus. Russian officials say pro-Ukrainian sabotage groups have carried out multiple attacks there since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
“An unknown explosive went off near the Snezhetskaya railway station. There were no casualties,” Bryansk regional governor Alexander Bogomaz wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
“As a result of the incident, a locomotive and several carriages of a freight train derailed,” he added, without saying who was responsible.
Operator Russian Railways previously said about 20 wagons had run off the track due to “unauthorized interference”, but did not report an explosive device. Snezhetskaya is located just southeast of Bryansk.
The state operator said the incident occurred at 19:47 local time (16:47 GMT) between Snezhetskaya and the nearby village of Belye Berega.
A freight train derailed about 150 km west of Bryansk on Monday after an explosion. Photos of that incident shared on social media showed several tankers lying on their sides and dark gray smoke rising into the sky.
There have been many reports of sabotage on railways in Russia since Moscow launched its Ukraine offensive, but this week marks the first time officials have confirmed attacks on this scale.
The incidents come as Kiev says it is preparing for a counter-offensive and after the Ukrainian army pledged to continue defending the eastern city of Bakhmut.
“Together with the commanders, we have taken some necessary decisions to ensure effective defense and inflict maximum losses on the enemy,” General Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of Ukrainian ground forces, said after visiting troops fighting in Bakhmut.
“We will continue, despite all predictions and advice, to detain Bakhmut and destroy Wagner [mercenaries] and other most combat-worthy units of the Russian army,” he told the soldiers.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Tuesday that at least two people were killed in Pavlohrad, a Ukrainian city and rail hub in the east, in a nightly Russian missile strike.
The Ukrainian president also said he had discussed his country’s integration into the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with Portugal’s Speaker of the Parliament, Augusto Santos Silva.
He stressed that these are the “primary needs of Ukrainian defenders” as Russia’s war in the country continues.
Members of Ukraine’s parliament on Tuesday voted to extend martial law, which is now in effect until August 18.
Zelenskyy introduced the law in February last year when Russia invaded Ukraine. Under martial law, Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 are not allowed to leave the country and can be called up for military service.
The measure was also accompanied by curfews that have now been reduced more than a year after the war.