The riddle of the Russian army and traitorous cell phones –

Trapped, beaten, killed: 89 Russian soldiers who died on New Year’s Eve during Ukraine’s Makivka attack paid with their lives for using their mobile phones. The problem affects the Ukrainian army and other armies of the world.

Although a unilateral 36-hour ceasefire has come into force in Ukraine by order of Vladimir Putin, gunfire has been heard on the front line.

The ceasefire was intended to allow the celebration of Orthodox Christmas, just days after the deadliest attack by Russian troops in Makiivka, eastern Ukraine, on New Year’s Eve, which left nearly 90 people dead.

Betrayed by Tinder

This deadly attack must be linked to mobile phones. Smartphone geolocation has indeed enabled the Ukrainian military to target its attack. The Russian Ministry of Defense itself has acknowledged the problem.

But this is not the first. Before the invasion of Ukraine, Russian soldiers loved dating apps like Tinder or Grindr, a gay dating app. The information they obtained was a goldmine for the Ukrainian and Western secret services, and thus they were aware of the plans of Vladimir Putin’s troops and the impending war.

Moscow identified these flaws at the time and ordered its troops to turn off their phones. Others were completely confiscated.

Marines and fitness program

However, it is not only Russians who use their phones in the context of war. The US army experienced a similar situation. In 2018, a fitness app widely used by US Marines revealed the location of military facilities in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. On the other hand, information that does not cause loss of human life.

These situations occur because the information seems irrelevant to the soldiers. But the information war is being waged on all fronts. Personal information – a photograph or a simple phone call – can be easily intercepted and can be decisive in the balance of power on the ground.

It seems that the Russian army has not learned from its past mistakes and its soldiers are still addicted to their smartphones. Knowing the risks, soldiers use their phones to call their wives, girlfriends, and parents. The desire to be in touch with home, with their families, is stronger than anything else and drives them to bend the rules.

A young Ukrainian soldier checks his mobile phone in a village outside Kyiv on April 1, 2022. [Rodrigo Abd – AP/Keystone]

Calls to stolen phones

A New York Times investigation published Thursday shows that Russians are even stealing the phones of Ukrainians, including those they killed. According to an analysis of call records consulted by the American newspaper, they share available phones to call home.

In many intercepted calls, Russian soldiers complain about their superiors, that they do not trust them, and that they feel abandoned. Therefore, they no longer care about rules and other prohibitions.

Cell phones, a strategic issue of war

Thus, mobile phones have become a strategic issue in the Ukrainian war. Despite the constant danger, the soldiers of the two armies – as this also applies to the Ukrainian army – continue to “slide”, send photos and participate in social networks.

An American general quoted by the New York Times explains that commanders are increasingly aware of the fact that young members of the armed forces are growing up with cell phones in their hands and that their habits are deeply ingrained.

But this is not just a generational story. At least one Russian general would have paid with his life after making unencrypted calls from his cell phone.

There is another war within the war against the use of cell phones. And this is perhaps the most difficult to overcome.

>> Detailed follow-up of the conflict: Despite the start of the cease-fire announced by Moscow, bombings in Bakhmut

Miruna Coca-Cola/kkub

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *