The soldiers of Russian President Vladimir Putin have apparently fallen for an ancient but effective warfare trick: they were misled with dummy weapons and fought the fake weapons with their own real weapons.
The Washington Post, citing senior US and Ukrainian officials and verified photos, reports that Ukraine has made wooden replicas of Himar rocket launchers — and Russia has fired at them. According to the report, Russian units apparently fired at least ten Russian Kalibr cruise missiles at these dummies, mistaking them for real weapons.
The Kalibr missiles are among the most accurate Russian weapons. The “senseless” mission should be all the more painful for the military. Because every missile that misses weakens Russia’s arsenal.
According to the report, the Russians probably fell for the wooden Himar trick mainly because they got the data on their locations via reconnaissance drones. This location data is transmitted to ships in the Black Sea from which the cruise missiles are launched. But through the drone’s camera lenses, it’s hard to tell the difference between a dummy and a real weapon.
The Russians are also familiar with this ancient tactic of camouflage and trickery themselves, they call it “Mashirovka”. It is known that Russia has bought dummy inflatable MiG-31 fighter jets and S-300 missile systems. Now Putin has apparently fallen for the “Mashirovka” tactic himself.