“Maskirovka”: Ukrainians apparently trick Russians with dummies in the trenches

Dolls in the trenches?
Ukrainians apparently trick Russians with mannequins

A video shows Russian mortars apparently shelling a Ukrainian trench occupied by dummy soldiers. The recording may be wrong, but cardboard comrades have been used since the beginning of the war and play an important role.

Fooling the enemy, leaving him in the dark about his own strengths and weaknesses, movements and positions, is an important tactic of warfare. False cannons, tanks, planes or soldiers have always been used for this purpose. It is no different in Ukraine, as shown, among other things, by a video posted on Telegram of a Russian mortar attack against a Ukrainian trench.

The recording apparently comes from a drone, which is used to correct the shot and direct it to the target. As the camera zooms in, two soldiers appear to be standing nonchalantly in the trench. At even higher magnification, however, they look oddly artificial, as if they were mannequins. If you zoom in further on a still image of the two characters, however, they look more human again.

In the end, the video could be a fake, the cut and other possible discrepancies cause justified doubts. However, it is a fact that dummies have been used since the start of the Russian attack, especially on the Ukrainian side. A Bloomberg video, for example, shows mannequins holding up barricades in Mykolaiv in mid-March, and on Tiktok you can admire a Ukrainian doll believed to represent a soldier with an air-launched surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile system. ‘shoulder.

“Maskirovka” has a long tradition

As “The Times” reports, fighting with dummies has a long tradition in Ukraine and Russia and was already taught in military schools under Tsar Nicholas II. During World War II, the camouflage tactics of the Red Army were decisive. “Maskirovka” (Russian for deception or disguise) also includes misinformation and denial. According to the Times, Vladimir Putin studied the methods at the Andropov-KGB Academy in Moscow and even made it state policy.

Today, Ukrainians in particular use “Maskirovka”, which helps them, among other things, to defend the more than 400 kilometer long front line in the east of their country. They can’t occupy it at that latitude, but the Russians also have far too few resources to attack everywhere. Thus, trenches held by fake soldiers that pin down enemy forces make a lot of sense.

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