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Russia charges 2 teens in pro-Ukraine rail sabotage incident

by Abbey Fenbert and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 31, 2024 6:08 AM 2 min read
Russian railroad track in Moscow Oblast. (Vyacheslav Argenberg via Getty Images)
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Russian investigators charged two 17-year-old boys with setting fire to a railway relay box in Moscow in order to carry out sabotage for Ukraine, the Moscow Times reported Jan. 30.

Several sabotage attacks against Russian railways, including fires, explosions, and derailments, have been reported in the past month.

"Two suspects were identified and detained at their homes in the town of Dolgoprudny near Moscow. They turned out to be 17-year-old teenagers," police told the Russian state news agency TASS.

The police claimed that a Ukrainian partisan contacted the teenagers online and offered them $150 to set fire to the relay box, which controls signals for train operators.

The boys allegedly traveled to Moscow's northern suburbs to carry out the attack.

Both teenagers are now in custody on charges of sabotage, which can carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Ukraine's military intelligence agency (HUR) reported on Jan. 17 that railway tracks in Russia's Saratov, Yaroslavl, and Nizhny Novgorod oblasts were targeted in sabotage attacks.

"Unknown opponents of Putin's regime once again burned several relay cabinets on the railway," HUR said.

The agency did not say whether it was involved in the sabotage attacks, but said the actions would disrupt Russian military logistics.

HUR announced in November 2023 that it carried out a joint operation with local partisans to disrupt trains around Moscow by setting fire to two  relay boxes.

"Fire, chaos and paralysis on the Russian railway is another consequence of the Russian criminal war against Ukraine," HUR said.

Media: SBU blows up another train in Russia’s far east
This was allegedly the second stage of an SBU operation to disable the Baikal-Amur railway line. This key railway route, crucial for Russian military logistics, runs north of the Trans-Siberian railway and is part of a network of tracks connecting Russia with China.
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