“On those tracks, in particular, weapons, ammunition, armored vehicles and other means used for the war of aggression against Ukraine are transported,” Andriy Yusov, a spokesman for Ukraine’s military intelligence agency, said on Ukrainian television on Thursday. “It is quite natural that these tracks did not hold up, got tired and now are not functioning for a while.”
But analysts said that although railways are a critical artery for Russia’s war logistics, individual strikes on them have had limited effects.
“The railroad track was always restored in at most a day, and the day after an explosion, trains were already running as usual,” said Ruslan Leviev, an analyst with the Conflict Intelligence Team, an investigative group. “This is more of a gain in a moral sense, in the spirit of, ‘Look, we can blow up targets deep in Russian territory.’”
And military experts caution that it is too soon to say whether Ukraine will sustain the apparent attacks, or to assess how effective they have been.
“Whether the attacks will reach sufficient effect to contest Russian operations — we have yet to see,” said Mathieu Boulegue, a Russia expert at Chatham House, a London-based research group. “It’s all about whether it starts to have a systemic effect.”
In recent weeks, pro-Russian officials have also accused Ukraine of launching drone strikes on the peninsula. In one example, a drone attack on a fuel depot in Sevastopol, the home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, set off an enormous fire in late April.
There have also been attacks on targets in Russian regions close to Ukraine’s border. On Telegram on Thursday, the governor of Russia’s Belgorod region asserted that Ukrainian forces had killed two civilians — he did not say how — in a village near the border. Two trains were derailed this month in the Bryansk region, according to local officials.