Home » News » Second rail war. Belarusian underground helped thwart attack on Kyiv – WP – Ukrainian news,

Second rail war. Belarusian underground helped thwart attack on Kyiv – WP – Ukrainian news,

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The Belarusian underground helped thwart the Russian attack on Kyiv by arranging massive sabotage on the railway, writes Washington Post.

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The attacks were simple but effective. The goal of the saboteurs was signal control cabinets that ensure the smooth functioning of the railways. Without automatic signaling, trains carrying ammunition and food for the Russian troops were forced to move more slowly.

“Given Russia’s reliance on trains, I’m sure this contributed to some of the problems they faced in the north. It slowed down their ability to move. They were unable to move further into Ukrainian territory and establish supply lines as they had to rely on trucks,” newspaper quotes Emily Ferris, a researcher at the London think tank RUSI.

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The publication calls the actions of Belarusian saboteurs the second rail war. The first was during World War II, when Soviet partisans, including Belarusian ones, staged massive sabotage on the railways, significantly complicating the regrouping of German troops during the decisive battles on the Kursk Bulge.

The main thing in the tactics of the Soviet partisans was the destruction of communications. The Belarusian underground in 2022 used more peaceful tactics. “We did not want to kill Russian or Belarusian machinists. We used a peaceful way to stop them,” the newspaper quotes Belarusian activist Yury Ravavoy.

According to retired Belarusian police lieutenant colonel Alexander Azarov, who lives in Warsaw and leads a group of former Belarusian security officials BYPOL, the saboteurs consisted of three groups: railway workers, defectors from security agencies and cybersecurity specialists.

Beginning on February 26, two days after the invasion, five sabotage attacks on signal boxes almost completely stopped the movement of Russian trains in Belarus.

Since then, Alexander Lukashenko’s regime has resorted to repression: railway workers have been randomly detained, and as of late April, at least 11 people are in custody on suspicion of participating in the attacks. Some were shot in the knees during arrest.

The brutality of the regime brought the sabotage to a halt, but by that time most Russian troops had already begun withdrawing from Ukraine and sent to the east.

Andrey Vodyany

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