Ukraine says Russia uses inflatable tanks, but they deflated

  • Ukraine accused Russia of setting up inflatable reservoirs near Zaporizhzhia in a Facebook post on Thursday.
  • But the Russian decoys unintentionally deflated, according to Ukrainian officials.
  • Russia has used deceptive warfare for decades, but its recent efforts have apparently failed.

Ukraine’s military forces have accused the Russian military of deploying inflatable tanks in southern Ukraine in an attempt to deceive the opposing side, saying the country’s ‘rubber’ decoys deflated in a display anticlimatic.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a Facebook post on Thursday that the Russian army had run out of steam in the Zaporizhzhia region, where Russian troops have been firing on Ukrainian defenses incessantly in recent days, according to Zaporizhzhia Regional Military Administration.

«At a time when our partners are coordinating the supply of tanks to Ukraine, the invading army is also increasing the presence of ‘tank units’ in the Zaporizhzhia region,» the Armed Forces General Staff wrote. Ukrainians.

But the increasing number of Russian tanks are, according to Ukrainian officials, not what they appear to be.

«Apparently, the open air of the Cossack region is not suitable for the «rubber» products of the occupants, so they deflate without fulfilling their main mission. Just like the inflated bravado of the Russian army, «said the ‘agency.

Inflatable floats are a staple of the Russian deception doctrine known as maskirovka, or masking. The country’s approach to psychological warfare relies on an arsenal of inflatable tanks and launchers, decoy vehicles and soldiers, and other deception operations to reinforce stealth tactics and sow confusion.

Russia has used elements of maskirovka in conflicts dating back decades, but its most recent efforts in Ukraine have apparently failed, according to Ukraine.

It is not known for what purpose Russia would have staged the inflatable tanks near Zaporizhzhia.

Earlier in the war, Ukraine also produced fake weapons, using fake wooden rocket launchers to trick Russia into wasting missiles on unnecessary targets. The wooden decoys were meant to resemble US rocket launchers when spotted by Russian drones, prompting Russian cruise missile carriers in the Black Sea to fire on the fake targets, according to reports in August.

Deception as war has a long history. The United States also used inflatable tanks during World War II as part of its Operation Ghost Army in an effort to trick the Third Reich into overestimating the military strength of the Allied forces. The unit created illusions and sought to spread disinformation using inflatable models of military vehicles, tanks and artillery, as well as audio recordings of sounds that mimicked the movement of large armies.

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