The train – which was reportedly transporting specialist military equipment for Russia’s Ministry of Defense – was seen traveling through central Russia on Sunday.
Even more shocking are reports that the military caravan was transporting both armored personnel carriers and other vehicles to Russia’s border with Ukraine.
Russian insiders have claimed the transport of such advanced military hardware signals a potential escalation in Putin’s war against Ukraine – an escalation that very well might include the use of nuclear weapons.
“We're in a situation in which superiority in resources and conventional weaponry is on the side of the West,” Vasily Kashin, a military analyst in Moscow and a close confidante to Putin, said over the weekend.
“But Russia's power is based on its nuclear arsenal,” Kashin added.
Ramzan Kadyrov, another Putin ally who serves as the current president of Chechnya, has since suggested Putin ramp up the war in Ukraine with more “drastic measures” – including declaring martial law in already claimed Ukrainian territory and deploying “low-yield” nuclear weapons.
“I do not know what the Defense Ministry reports to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief,” Kadyrov explained, “but in my personal opinion, we need to take more drastic measures.”
The transport of specialist military equipment across Russia also comes as Moscow’s Strategic Rocket Forces division is set to undergo extensive training exercises later this season.
Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces serves as the “cornerstone” of Putin’s nuclear defense program. The division also consists of dozens of missile regiments that control Russia’s nuclear weapons arsenal.
As a result of Putin’s latest mass-mobilization decree, thousands of Russian citizens have reportedly fled Russia so as not to be drafted to the frontlines of Ukraine.
“Regarding the mobilization – it’s horrible,” one Russian who recently fled Russia for Armenia expressed. “Show me a man in his right mind who will go there.”