Russia’s Halfway War vs Rail Continues

A war on railways but Dniper bridges (and only Dnieper bridges) are off-limits


Russia truly hates the humble Zatoka bridge. It has now hit it *for the third time*, supposedly severing it.

This leaves Ukraine’s Budjak region technically cut off from Ukraine (except through Moldova). More importantly, it severs a railway by which Ukraine was importing a lot of fuel via Romania.

However, despite the persistent bullying of the poor Zatoka bridge, Russia still ignores the even more strategic bridges over the Dnieper. Why the discrimination? Some bridges’ lives matter apparently.

Instead Russia has hit railways in western Ukraine once again, specifically the electrification infrastructure (once again).

This has been reasonably effective. Ukrainian railways report long delays for their passenger transport:

Massive fallout initially — those stranded electric trains will initially clog the whole network even for diesels (but Ukraine’s Soviet-made system is also very resilient with many ways to divert)

At the same time, the best estimate is that Ukraine has 1738 electric and 756 diesel locomotives. (Not counting its fleet of 1500 small locomotives used to break up and form trains, also diesel.)

So de-electrification of railways, even if it can be made permanent (which so far has not been the case), will be a headache for Ukraine’s economy, but will not stop military supplies.

There is a view that hitting substations will knock out railway signaling, taking out all railway traffic that way. However, it is unlikely that signaling uses the same 3000 Volt current used to power the lines.

Each day 10 to 15 aircraft arrive to Poland with equipment for Ukraine. And to our knowledge diesel trains continue to reach most places in Ukraine, including Kharkov in the east of the country, with few if any issues. The railway bridges over Dnieper meanwhile stand unmolested — as Russia ostensibly wages a war on rail.

1 Comment
  1. SteveK9 says

    Please provide an explanation/guess/speculation as to why Russia does NOT destroy the bridges over the Dnieper? There is a reason, justified or mistaken.

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