“The sound of explosions broke the stillness of the night in Russia’s Belgorod province, near the border with Ukraine, where Russian media reported an ammunition depot was on fire.
The fire broke out in the early hours of Wednesday in the village of Staraya Nelidovka, some 20 miles from the Ukrainian border, Belgorod’s regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote on Telegram, Russian news agency TASS reported.
“I have just contacted the head of the Golovinsky rural settlement, Denis Zolotukhin. According to preliminary information, an ammunition depot is on fire near the village of Staraya Nelidovka,” Gladkov wrote on his channel.NEWSWEEK NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP >
“At approximately 03:35 I woke up from a loud bang that sounded like a blast. As I was writing this post, three more blasts were heard,” he said.
The fire at the ammunition depot has been extinguished, TASS reported, without mentioning the possible source of the blast.
“So far, not a single duty service of the city and the region has found the cause of this sound,” Gladkov wrote on Telegram.”
Comment: Poor discipline or sabotage? pl
Mysterious Explosions Throughout Russia, Belgorod Ammunition Depot on Fire (newsweek.com)
Colonel: Good to see your words coming across the wire again.
My feeling is it is definitely sabotage. No one every accused the Ukies of not having a set of brass ones.
I read the folks taking the other side of the issue to help me figure out just WTF is happening and their appears to be some high dudgeon in their thinking that Russian pieces of turf aren’t considered sacred ground. I would posit that if they had pearls to clutch, they would do so.
Nope, the Ukies have figured out that attacking Russian armored units in the Ukraine has a much higher cost than attacking softer targets inside of Russia. Can’t say as I would argue that logic. Folks seem to forget that if you throw a punch the other guy gets to hit back and the Marquis of Queensbury rules don’t apply.
Of course Ukraine has unfettered rights of action. Col. Lang asks a good question but even if it was caused by poor discipline, the suspicion of sabotage remains (and should be amplified by Ukraine) because it causes Russian troops to be diverted to protecting Ammo dumps as well as affecting their morale.
I’m sure there will be a “dirty tricks” organization somewhere on the Ukraine side, populated with folk just like TTG and Col. Lang, or maybe just perhaps one or two years younger.
The only downside I can think of at the moment is that Russia, Ukraine and the West are still involved in a lethal minuet – the gloves haven’t come off. Russia is not yet attacking power and water infrastructure in Ukraine and seems to be avoiding creating a maximized humanitarian disaster despite what the pearl clutching commentators at CNN tell us. You could almost say what we are witnessing is a form of communication by warfare (or as the warden said in Cool Hand Luke, “a failure to communicate”). If Ukraine doesn’t confine itself to military targets and goes after Russian populations, expect a Russian response.
I have read news accounts that Russian air defense systems q were activated during the night, with debris falling on other, nontargeted areas.
If true, would indicate Ukes fighting back inside Russia with missles/planes
Don’t know if you guys have seen this. Pretty clinical. Worth a read and a think at least. Worth thinking about.
I never have liked living in interesting times.
Good article. Explains how hard it is to generate combat ready units. I wonder how much of that newer Western equipment is going to the reserve units being trained up. I’ve read estimates of mid-summer for those reserves to be ready although at least one tank brigade has already been deployed to the front.
TTG: I understand that “B” over at moonofalabama isn’t everyones favorite, but I found his piece today pretty interesting talking about Germany’s “contribution” to the party.
I think that the border marches of Russia and the Ukraine are going to be a playground for different special ops folks for a while. It appears to me that everyone feels that backing down is anathema. I think that Russia will destroy the conventional forces in the Eastern Ukraine. When that happens the small unit guerrilla war will start in earnest.
But after that, things are going to be platoon level unconventional warfare spread out quite a ways all along the southern border of Russia.
I think things are going to get ugly. Ain’t nobody gonna “win” this.
Transnistria and Belarus – cards coming to the table…
I thought we would have been well into the UW stage by now. Ukraine was prepared for that. But I and a lot others underestimated just how screwed up the Russian military was. I think it will be a while before the Ukrainian forces are ground down. It may very well be that the Russian forces are ground down first. At that point the Russians might as well go home. They won’t be able to go UW in Ukraine.
I suspect at least one of them is some corrupt quartermaster destroying the evidence of fraud by blowing up what he didn’t steal and sell off.
You may be right about that, Fred. Putin’s going to be looking for blood over what all that kleptocracy did to the Russian military.
I was near Belgorod in 2018 for the burial of a dear friend. Donbass is far from there. There was no fixed border, not even a fence. Think North Dakotas border with Canada. Furthermore the area is already forest steppe. I hiked after the burial and came to a forested ravine and then a hill where you could still see the remnants of earthworks and many bomb craters from WWII. Not the best terrain for tanks but perfectly suited for an infantry ambush. A dedicated small force of saboteurs could get quite far without being detected. I believe that thought also occured to some Ukrainians.
There were 1.9 million self-identified ethnic Ukrainians living in Russia in the 2010 census. Perhaps the SBU could recruit a small number to be saboteurs? Or more likely a support network for Ukrainian special forces operating in Russia?
Or it could be Navalny supporters?
But I am most partial to Fred’s suspicions about corruption. Those oligarchs and their crews don’t want to end up disappeared or thrown in Lubyanka like Putin has done to some others lately. https://globalnews.ca/news/8790242/russian-oligarchs-suicides-ukraine/