Russian Activists Sabotage Train Tracks In Defiance Of Putin

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A new Kyiv Post report spotlights continuing resistance inside Russia to the authoritarian regime of Vladimir Putin.

The publication, which shared information originating in part with Interfax-Siberia, says “Anti-Putin Russian partisans sabotaged a coal train in Khakassia, East Siberia, resulting in more than 100 meters of railway tracks being destroyed and 15 train wagons derailed.” The derailing took place on September 1 at around noon local time, per available details, and it unfolded on railways between locations in Russia called Vuglezbirn and Karasuk. The West Siberian Transport Prosecutor’s Office, which is evidently a Russian government prosecutor’s office, also provided info about the incident, indicating the affected rail cars were operated by SUEK-Khakasia, which is also spelled in English as Suek-Khakasiya. Shortly after Russian troops began pouring into Ukraine on February 24, Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko, who founded SUEK (which is seemingly a parent company of a local outpost responsible for the derailed coal cars), resigned from the company’s board.

He also took other steps distancing himself from the company. “At year-end 2021, the legal entity that held business interests for the benefit of Andrey Melnichenko indirectly owned 92.2% of the Company’s share capital,” the company said earlier this year. “Following his resignation and withdrawal as beneficiary on 9 March 2022, the share controlled beneficially by Mr. Melnichenko is 0%.” As for the railway incident, an anti-Putin channel known as “Rozpartisan” on the alternative social media platform called Telegram evidently shared a claim Russian partisans were responsible for the derailing. According to the Kyiv Post report, the press service for the company responsible for the derailed coal cars said “the incident will not affect the stability of coal shipments at SUEK enterprises in the region.”

A huge yacht worth over half a billion dollars that was owned by Melnichenko was seized by Italian authorities in March as officials worldwide took action against high-dollar assets connected to wealthy Russians, partly in hopes of clamping down on the flow of funds in Putin’s circles. Melnichenko was sanctioned by the European Union after attending a meeting with a few dozen other business leaders and Putin himself, where the group discussed potential economic fallout from sanctions over the Ukraine war. Melnichenko’s invitation to attend “shows that he is a member of the closest circle of Vladimir Putin and that he is supporting or implementing actions or policies which undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, as well as stability and security in Ukraine,” European Union authorities said, adding the invitation “also shows that he is one of the leading businesspersons involved in economic sectors providing a substantial source of revenue to the government of Russia.”