Russian camouflage and deception: British secret service considers “Maskirovka” to be ineffective


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Russian camouflage and deception
British secret service considers “Maskirovka” to be ineffective

In its war of aggression against Ukraine, Russia relies on “Maskirovka”, camouflage operations and deception maneuvers, among other things, to confuse the enemy. That is not very successful, say British intelligence experts.

The camouflage and deception maneuvers that Russia has undertaken so far in the war of aggression against Ukraine have generally remained ineffective. British intelligence experts came to this conclusion in their most recent assessment.

On May 24, Russia conducted a security drill around the Crimean Bridge, which connects the Russian mainland with the Black Sea peninsula illegally annexed in 2014, the Defense Ministry’s daily intelligence update in London said on Monday. Part of the exercise was the installation of a smoke screen using truck-mounted TDA-3 smoke generators, which partially obscured the bridge.

“Russian doctrine regards the smoke as part of ‘maskirovka’ (camouflage and deception) – to which it attaches great importance,” the intelligence report said. “In practice, however, the Russian Maskirovka has generally been ineffective in the Ukraine war, probably due to the lack of strong central planning and poor combat discipline at low levels.”

Fighting with dummies has a long tradition in Russia and Ukraine. It was already being taught at military schools under Tsar Nicholas II. During the Second World War, the Red Army’s smokescreen tactics were decisive. The “Maskirovka” also includes disinformation and denial. Russian President Vladimir Putin studied these methods at the Andropov-KGB Academy in Moscow.

The Ministry of Defense in London has published daily information on the course of the war since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, citing intelligence information.

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