Vladimir Putin’s army has constructed a 20-mile long ‘tsar train’ on the frontline with Ukraine in eastern Donetsk and is said to be made up of thousands of freight carriages
A 20-mile long “tsar train” has been constructed by Vladimir Putin as a “mobile wall” to protect territory won in Ukraine.
Thousands of freight carriages are being used as a defence wall in eastern Donetsk, positioned close to the front line. It runs between the Russian controlled towns of Olenivka and Volnovakha, according to the Ukrainian intelligence tracker DeepState.
There are believed to be 2,1000 wagons in the mobile vehicle which has been dubbed the “tsar train”. DeepState wrote: “A continuous structure of goods wagons stretches along a branch from the railway station in Olenivka to Volnovakha and has about 2,100 wagons of various types. The construction of this centipede of carriages began in July 2023. Apparently, rolling stock stolen from the temporarily occupied territories was used for construction.”
US think tank, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), says the train was possibly built for defence but may also have other roles which are currently not clear. Satellite imagery shows the train carriages previously and then being assembled altogether in July of last year.
“This is a very specific engineering structure, the effectiveness of which is difficult to assess. The idea is clear – an obstacle to the advancement of the defence forces,” stated DeepState. “It can be considered as a separate line of defence, because it is extremely difficult to damage, move or blow up a 30-kilometer-long mass of metal, and the movement of equipment through such an obstacle without breaking through the corridor is impossible.”
Meanwhile, troops stationed along the Russian-NATO border looks set to double in number, as the threat of World War Three steps up. Finland became a member of NATO in April last year, meaning it is now where Russia meets the large combined joint forces of NATO. According to Estonia, which has been a NATO member for the last 20 years and also shares a border with Russia, Putin is planning to double its soldiers across the borders of the Baltics.
Kaupo Rosin, director-general of the Estonian intelligence service, said: “Russians are planning to increase the military force along the Baltic states’ border but also the Finnish border. We will highly likely see an increase of manpower, about doubling, perhaps. We will see an increase in armed personnel carriers, tanks, artillery systems over the coming years.”
The Estonian intelligence report added that Russia has stationed on its border with Estonia may almost double from the 19,000 that were posted there before the 2022 invasion of Ukraine. The report indicates also that along the border with Finland, a new Russian army corps may be established, consisting of two or three manoeuvre units with additional support units.