Ukraine, the war of convoys: Moscow attacks Western aid, Kiev “mends” roads and tracks

Russia is trying to hinder the flow of aid to Kiev by targeting road and railways. The Ukrainians respond with well-organized teams that try to reduce the time of interruptions

It is the war of convoys. Russia tries to block the flow to help Kiev by targeting roads and railways. Ukrainians respond with well-organized teams that try to reduce the time of interruptions.

Vladimir Putin himself spoke about it in these hours. “We crush them like nuts,” she said, referring to Western supplies. So he threatened to involve areas never hit by bombing in the “strikes”. A verbal warning immediately accompanied by a salvo of cruise missiles launched by T 95 bombers flying over the Caspian Sea: according to the Russians the target were deposits in Kiev that housed T-72 tanks, probably supplied by the Poles, while the local authorities spoke of wagons for transporting grain. However, the capital had not been involved in the raids for five weeks. The capital had not been involved in the raids for five weeks.

A few days ago, however, a Russian cruise missile hit a tunnel in Beskydy, in the south-western part, a hub that leads to Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Italy, joining Lviv to Trieste and Venice. A scenario seen frequently in recent months. Out of 22,000 kilometers of railway lines, 900 reported damage while 120 installations were hit with consequent devastation: over 120 workers were killed. The campaign, however, would have only partially affected the supply chain that brings food, fuel, war material, aid, refugees and wheat, the latter two in the opposite direction. And there would be a precise reason.

One expert, Trent Telenko, noted that the weapons used by Moscow are not powerful enough to disable the logistic network and maybe not even too precise. Raids are frequent, but systems capable of paralyzing the network would be needed. It is not necessarily enough. In fact, he recalled how, in August 1951, during the conflict in Korea, the Americans had unleashed Operation Strangle by dropping tons of bombs and making thousands of exits to interrupt the transit of trains. But – despite the destruction of 276 locomotives, 3,800 wagons and sizeable pieces of line – the North Koreans continued to exploit the railway by developing a large capacity for repairs. In a few hours they “stitched up” the tracks, in two or four days they replaced bridges.

The invaders probably find themselves in the same situation, also because their adversaries have prepared themselves with interaction between civilians and military. Always Telenko explained that the use of prefabricated concrete material could be useful (transportable in blocks and sections), however we do not know if the resistance has enough. We know, on the other hand, that the railway organization is one of the pride of Kiev, as they have dedicated resources and commitment. A symbol of efficiency admired from abroad. The International Support Ukraine Rail Task Force was born in March, an association made up of foreign experts, which offers its contribution so that the “river” continues to flow along any route. Because there is the other component, the road one.

There is the hand of the Americans in managing the columns of trucks and heavy vehicles needed to transfer tanks, self-propelled vehicles, gigantic quantities of ammunition. A team from the 10th US Special Forces Group has set up the vanguard of a facility based – officially – only in Germany and in charge of handling military supplies. A role openly confirmed by the Secretary of the US Army: a part of the mission, to which three other unspecified countries joinedis to prevent the Russians from discovering targets.

Therefore tricks, tactics, systems to be applied once the cargoes have entered Ukrainian territory. Then elaboration of paths, via alternatives, perhaps even false targets to deceive enemy espionage. Moscow – this is demonstrated by the launches of the last few hours – instead of chasing the “ants” that bring the vehicles, he prefers to wait for them to reach their destination, then deliver the blow. And probably will have to step up the campaign, if all states they will keep their promises on armaments to be shipped to Ukraine: Madrid could send Aspide anti-aircraft missiles and even Leopard 2 tanks (writes it El Pais), a Belgian firm that buys military surplus would be ready to supply dozens of M109 self-propelled guns.

In this challenge the Ukrainians would like to do the same behind the Russians, taking into account that 20% of the railway line in the south / south east of the country is in the hands of Putin’s troops. When Zelensky called for the arrival of long-range Himars rockets it was said that they could also serve for this purpose. Putin replied to him on Saturday arguing that the new systems will not change the situation.

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