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Twitter posts show Russian forces in Ukraine lack basic tools, use civilian radios

Twitter posts show Russian forces in Ukraine lack basic tools, use civilian radios

Reports emerge on social media of low morale among Russia's feared infantry, and the strange use of civilian walkie-talkies.

According to a Kyiv-based Twitter account named ‘Мілітарний’ (Military), the Russian forces are using analogue-tech walkie-talkies made by Baofeng. According to a Kyiv-based Twitter account named ‘Мілітарний’ (Military), the Russian forces are using analogue-tech walkie-talkies made by Baofeng.

As Russia continues its assault deep inside Ukraine, bombing civilian areas in two of its biggest cities — Kyiv and Kharkiv — social media is abuzz with reports of low morale among its soldiers and strangely, its feared infantry using civilian radio sets.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has widened its assault deep inside Ukraine, appears to have sent soldiers into battle with cheap handheld radios or walkie-talkies made by China's Baofeng, posts on Twitter show.

According to a Kyiv-based Twitter account named ‘Мілітарний’ (Military), which posts about army and war, the Russian forces are using analogue-tech walkie-talkies made by Baofeng.

These Baofeng walkie-talkies help communicate over long-distance depending on the terrain. Usually, these devices can communicate up to 5km in places with no obstacles — such as at sea.

These cheap radio sets are popular with trekkers, camping and wildlife enthusiasts and can be ordered from online shopping platforms for as less as Rs 3,000 for a pair, including on e-commerce portals in India.

Also, the only encryption tech these off the shelf and cheap radios can claim to offer for secure communication is the static noise to confuse, as one post said.

Another Russia-based Twitter account ‘Conflict Intelligence Team’, which retweeted Мілітарний's post as a part of thread; said" “More and more evidence is emerging that the Russian forces rely on civilian radios and mobile phones for their communications. Our source in one invading unit confirms this.”

Conflict Intelligence Team, further added, “This, in turn, could be explained by corruption and negligence running rampant in the Russian army, which is probably also why they don't have enough military radios.”

While these low-cost radios could act as a morale boost for besieged civilians in Ukraine, they can also be a reason for low morale among the Russian army grappling with their mission.

Besides reports of Russian troops employing old technology in this war, there are reports of them abandoning gear, deserting and showing other signs of strain as they are fighting for their president with little food, no water, gas or other supplies.

According to a claim by the US Department of Defence, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin had kept the average Russian soldier in the dark about their mission as some soldiers seem blissfully unaware of the Ukraine war and lack basic information.