A tunnel that is Russia’s primary link to communist China has just been destroyed in an explosion that looks like an apparent act of sabotage.
The Severomuysky Tunnel is the main rail link to China from Russia. It collapsed after Ukraine’s Security Service allegedly blew it up in the Russian republic of Buryatia according to Newsweek.
The explosion that took place in the Severomuysky Tunnel was conducted by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) “paralyzing the only serious route of railway communication between the Russian Federation and China,” news outlet RBC-Ukraine reported on Thursday.
“It is unclear if the explosives had been hidden inside the ten-mile tunnel or placed on the freight train before it entered,” The U.S. Sun stated.
As a result of sabotage, a railway echelon carrying 41 tankers of petroleum products, including diesel and aviation fuel, was destroyed while exiting the Severomuisky tunnel in the Far East of Russia. pic.twitter.com/d5OjUmrCDv
— WORLD MILITARY (@Sabanado1) November 30, 2023
Ukraine’s SBU told Newsweek in an interview that it can “neither confirm nor deny involvement” in the explosion. They also told the news outlet that “death is the only prospect we can offer to the occupiers” who have “brought war, loss of life, and violence to our land.”
“We will be able to talk about who is behind this or that case after our victory. Which will definitely come soon,” the SBU vowed.
The tunnel is a railroad connection on the Soviet-built Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) in northwestern Buryatia. It winds through Serbia and is utilized to ship cargo to Asia. According to Newsweek, “It is one of the world’s longest railway networks, stretching around 4,300 kilometers, or almost 2,700 miles.”
“Russian President Vladimir Putin has pushed to modernize the country’s railways, including the BAM, in order to handle the rapid increase in freight traffic from China to Europe, and to reduce transport times between ports in Russia’s Far East and the country’s western border,” Newsweek reported. “An RBC-Ukraine source said that Russia used the route for military supplies.”
A report coming out of Russia’s security services Telegram channel, Baza, claims that a fuel tank caught on fire while being transported through the tunnel early Thursday.
Russian media report an explosion in a Severomuysk tunnel in Buryatia, the longest in Russia (over 15 km long).
“It is the only serious railroad between Russia and China. And now this route that Russia uses for military supplies as well, has been paralized” Russian media write.… pic.twitter.com/pNROR9FwP3
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) November 30, 2023
“It was probably sabotage,” the channel claimed and noted there were no casualties connected to the incident.
“What caused the fire is still unknown. Police and FSB officers are working on the spot. Also, police and special services officers are working on the train parking areas,” Baza noted.
Other outlets are reporting the tunnel explosion as well, including the Ukrainian publication Ukrainska Pravda.
“Four explosive devices went off during the movement of the freight train. Now the FSB is working on the spot, and railway workers are unsuccessfully trying to minimize the consequences of the SBU’s special operation,” a source allegedly told Ukrainska Pravda which also acts as a governmental propaganda outlet.
Location of tunnel is marked with red cross. Get on a train departing Moscow and after travelling for three days and nights you would enter the tunnel. How often has russia’s size been touted as its strength? Ukrainians know it is a weakness. pic.twitter.com/9SPaRlTZ8S
— Joe Bloggs (@JoeBlog99557926) November 30, 2023
“Ukrainska Pravda’s source also said that the BAM is the only major railway connection between Russia and China and that it has been used to transport military supplies. And currently this route, which Russia uses, specifically for military supplies, is paralyzed,” Newsweek reiterated.