Published On: Tue, Feb 13th, 2024
World | 3,667 views

Vladimir Putin builds 19-mile long wall out of old train carriages to protect troops | World | News

In a desperate move reflecting Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s concerns about the Eastern Ukrainian front, Russian forces have constructed an imposing 19-mile barricade crafted from old train carriages.

This massive structure, nicknamed the “tsar train” on social media, is composed of thousands of freight cars forming a chain between Olenivka and Volnovakha in the Donetsk region, as revealed by satellite images analysed by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

ISW noted that the makeshift defensive line is situated just under four miles from the current frontline. The intention behind this “tsar train” is presumed to be a defensive line against potential Ukrainian assaults, though ISW added: “The Russians could have assembled the train for other purposes as well.”

Describing the structure as a “specific engineering” project, the military Telegram channel Deep State pointed out its effectiveness in obstructing the advance of defence forces.

“It can be considered a separate line of defence because it is extremely difficult to damage, move, or blow up a 30km mass of metal,” a post on Deep State read.

The railcars used for this defensive wall were reportedly stolen from Ukrainian territory already occupied by Russia, as highlighted by the blogger. This development comes at a time when Ukraine‘s advances in the region have stalled, and its troops face exhaustion and setbacks as Russian forces make strategic gains.

In a significant territorial loss for Kyiv, Russia seized the Donetsk town of Marinka in December. The city of Avdiivka, once considered Ukraine’s “eastern fortress,” is now under threat as Moscow continues its advance. Ukrainian Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi pledged to reinforce the city with fresh troops amid reports of manpower and ammunition shortages.

This decision to fortify rather than retreat raises concerns of a protracted battle similar to the months-long conflict over nearby Bakhmut.

In June, Russian defences, particularly the “Surovikin Line,” a complex 81-mile system of trenches, anti-tank ditches, and minefields, played a crucial role in wearing down Ukraine‘s push to regain territory seized earlier in the war. Despite some localised successes, the counteroffensive had dwindled by November.

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