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Freight train derailed in Crimea as Russia blames ‘interference by outsiders’

Derailed wagons following an accident involving a freight train carrying grain in the Simferopol District, Crimea (REUTERS)
Derailed wagons following an accident involving a freight train carrying grain in the Simferopol District, Crimea (REUTERS)

A train carrying grain was derailed in Russia-controlled Crimea on Thursday morning with authorities blaming “interference by outsiders”.

Photos from the scene appeared to show five cars of an eight-carriage freight train lying on their side next to the track in the Simferopol District.

Rail traffic was suspended between Simferopol – the capital of the Crimean peninsula – and the city of Sevastopol, the region’s Russia-installed leader said on Thursday, while authorities said an explosion was to blame.

The derailment was caused by “interference by outsiders”, Crimean railways said in a statement.

In a statement posted on Telegram, Russia-installed leader of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, said that wagons loaded with grain had derailed and no one was injured.

Wagons were derailed following the freight train accident in the Simferopol District (REUTERS)
Wagons were derailed following the freight train accident in the Simferopol District (REUTERS)

Earlier, the Baza Telegram channel, which has links to Russian security services, had reported an explosion on a railway line in the region, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.

It comes as Ukrainian forces shot down 29 out of 30 cruise missiles fired at Ukraine overnight on Wednesday, in the latest nighttime test of the country’s air defences, according to officials.

One person died and two were hurt when a Russian missile got through and hit an industrial building in the southern region of Odesa, said Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesman for the region’s military administration.

Loud blasts were heard in Kyiv as the Kremlin’s forces targeted the capital for the ninth time this month in a clear escalation after weeks of lull and ahead of a much-anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive using newly supplied advanced western weapons.

Debris fell on two Kyiv districts, starting a fire at a garage complex.

There was no immediate word about any victims, Serhiy Popko, head of the Kyiv Military Administration, said in a Telegram post.

Ukraine also shot down two Russian exploding drones and two reconnaissance drones, authorities said.

The missiles were launched from Russian sea, air and ground bases, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the Ukrainian commander in chief, wrote on Telegram.

Several waves of missiles were aimed at areas of Ukraine between 9pm on Wednesday and 5.30am on Thursday, he said.

Meanwhile, two people were hurt in a drone attack in Russia’s southern Kursk region, which borders Ukraine, the regional governor reported on Thursday.

In a Telegram post, Roman Starovoit claimed Ukrainian forces dropped an explosive device from a drone on a sports and recreation complex.

It comes as Ukrainian army chiefs claim to have recaptured more land in heavy fighting around the eastern town of Bakhmut despite being outgunned and outnumbered by Russian forces, as Kyiv has said it has stepped up pressure on Moscow’s troops.