November 30, 2023


Russia intends to create a reserve fleet railway wagons to “state tasks”, according a letter to Reuters. This is in response to growing state needs due to its military operation against Ukraine.

Valentina Matviyenko (chair of the upper house and close ally to President Vladimir Putin) stated this week that Russia now has a “mobilisation economic”, and private rail companies should support state interests and allow Russian Railways use their wagons.

The March 22 letter states that the reserve railcars will allow “transportation of socio-significant cargoes”. It also asks Russian Railways to reply by April 10 and request the federal antimonopoly service, ministry of transport, and main industry association. Reuters reached out to none of them for comment.

Russian Railways is the state monopoly, but tracks and infrastructure are controlled by the Russian Railways. However, more than 1.1 Million Russian rail wagons are owned majority by private companies, including Freight One and Globaltrans (GLTRq.L ), Transcontainer (TRCN.MM ) and the Russian Railways subsidiary Federal Freight.

Matviyenko stated that she would ask the Security Council, which is presided over by Putin and advises him regarding policy including the use Russian military forces abroad, to investigate private rail operators.

Oleg Belozerov (head of Russian Railways) told Security Council members Tuesday that about 10% of the fleet should be available for the state operator.

Russia sent thousands of troops to Ukraine on February 24, in what it called an operation to weaken its southern neighbor’s military capabilities, and expel dangerous nationalists.

The West has placed severe sanctions on Russia to try to get it to withdraw its forces.


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