Russia appears to have built a bizarre, 18-mile fortification from disused freight trains to protect itself in Ukraine, analysts say

  • Russia has built an 18-mile defensive line using more than 2,000 railway carriages, a report says.

  • DeepState, a Telegram analytics channel, said it’s a new Russian defensive line.

  • The Institute for the Study of War said the freight cars may have other purposes.

Russia has built an 18-mile defensive line using more than 2,000 railway cars, a Telegram analytics channel focused on Ukraine said.

The channel, DeepState, described this development in a post on Sunday, basing its report on satellite images taken over an occupied region of Ukraine.

The pair of satellite images from May 10 and Tuesday show that Russian forces have constructed a train-car line that runs from Olenivka, which is about 20 miles south of Donetsk, to Volnovakha and Mariupol, the channel claims.

DeepState said the line’s construction started in July.

It is hard to assess how effective the structure is, but the post added that it would be difficult to damage and that breaking through such obstacles is extremely challenging.

A Russian defensive line

A Russian defensive line with railway cars between Olenivka and Mariupol, Ukraine, on May 10 and Tuesday.Telegram/DeepStateUA

The Institute for the Study of War also picked up on this development in a report on Sunday.

However, the ISW had a more cautious assessment, saying the barrier was “possibly” being built to serve as a defensive line against future Ukrainian attacks.

Russia may also have put the freight cars together for other purposes, the organization said.

The country has constructed major defense systems along a large portion of the Ukrainian front, using anti-tank ditches, mazes of trenches, “dragon’s teeth” barricades, and minefields.

This strategy has been one of Russia’s key successes in the war and has proved effective at withholding Ukrainian advances along the front lines.

Retired Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, who served as a US Army officer and as deputy director of operations for coalition forces in Iraq, explained why it was so difficult for Ukrainian forces to break through Russia’s defenses last summer.

In a Wall Street Journal video published in July, Kimmitt said that Russia’s defense systems were stacked on top of each other, resulting in up to eight layers of dangerous fortifications.

Breaching them, he added, could come at great human and material cost.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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