Ukraine’s Security Service sabotaged a Russia-China railroad

The Countermeasure
2 min readDec 3, 2023

On November 30, 2023, media outlet The New Voice of Ukraine, was told by Ukrainian law enforcement that the SBU had successfully sabotaged a rail line deep within Russia’s borders.

Ukraine’s SBU Security Service, much like a mixture of America’s CIA and FBI, conducts offensive and defensive intelligence operations to protect Ukraine from terrorism, espionage, and organized crime. In times of war, it strongly augments Ukraine’s armed forces in both intelligence and special operations roles.

What occurred in Russia was an example of that.

The New Voice of Ukraine reported that the SBU used explosives to destroy a critical rail line between Russia and China in Russia’s Buryatia Oblsat, located on the border with Mongolia.

The rail line was the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM), and the explosion was reportedly at the Bessolov Severmuysky Tunnel. The BAM, which was laid during the days of the Soviet Union, was estimated to cost over $14 billion. The route is nearly 2700 miles long, and was described by Leonid Brezhnev as “the construction project of the century.”

In an effort to fully capitulate the usage of BAM in the region, a bypass route along BAM was also destroyed by the SBU. Recently, the BAM has been used for massive trade between Russia and China. Historically, much of Russia’s raw material has been transported east and west along this line, particularly coal, a material the Chinese are heavily reliant on.

The construction of BAM, to conclude upgrades and additions, has taken decades. On project that was completed in 2009, for example, had started 23 years prior. A road that follows along BAM is also reportedly in very rough shape and is not a practical mode of transportation due to capitulated infrastructure and harsh terrain.

Ukrainian sources stated that this is the “only serious railroad route between Russia and China” and that the rail line is effectively paralyzed.

The New Voice of Ukraine stated that four explosive devices were detonated while a freight train was traversing the BAM. They also reported that efforts are underway by Russian personnel to repair the line and assess the damage.

I have yet to see a response from the Kremlin or Beijing.

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The Countermeasure

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