Russia probes bridge collapse as ‘terrorism’
Subversive activity is likely behind Sunday’s railway bridge collapse in Russia’s Kursk Region, the local governor, Roman Starovoyt, has claimed. The area borders Ukraine.
There have been no reports of casualties linked to the incident, but it disrupted a rail line linking two Russian towns located near the frontier.
Russian's Investigative Committee has launched a probe into the suspected act of terrorism, after authorities said the bridge was apparently damaged by an explosion.
“The information has been confirmed. That was an act of sabotage,” Starovoyt said in a video address published on Telegram, promising to provide further details at a later date.
Russian investigators and security services are currently working to establish the identify of those involved, as well as the power and type of explosive device used.
The bridge linked the town of Sudzha, around 10km from Ukraine, with Sosnovy Bor. It was part of a line mostly used by freight trains, the governor told Russian media.
Kursk borders Ukraine’s Sumy. Starovoyt previously accused Kiev's forces of shelling border crossings in his region on April 29 and 30. There were no casualties in the incidents.
On Sunday, the head of Russia’s Belgorod Region, located southeast of Kursk and bordering Ukraine’s Kharkov, reported a fire at a military site not far from the frontier. Details of the incident are still unclear, and the Russian Defense Ministry has yet to comment on the issue.
Kiev has not claimed responsibility so far for any of the incidents on Russian territory.
Russia attacked Ukraine following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.