Embarrassing leaks about troop movements or secret operations have to end, the Russian president orders. Vladimir Putin signed a decree on May 6 banning active soldiers from carrying electronic devices to record or transmit geolocation, photo and audio material.
The Russian-critical news portal Proekt investigated reports of the coronavirus outbreak among hundreds of young cadets after they had taken part in rehearsals for the postponed victory parade in Moscow, and that Putin’s order was already obstructing real information to reach the public.
Soldiers are no longer allowed to pass on information to the outside world. Talking to reporters is also prohibited. Putin’s order to ban all soldiers or military employees from carrying smartphones or other devices such as smartwatches or tablets is a further tightening of the rules of last year’s ban on devices that can be connected to the Internet. “The violation of the regulation is considered a gross disciplinary offence,” the decree states.
No more smartphones in the camps for Russian soldiers. This was decided by the state duma legislators as early as 2018 and prepared a law to punish soldiers when they publish information about themselves on social media.
There were many media reports of Russian military operations based on investigative reporters studying social media photos of soldiers. In 2016, bloggers published in The LiveJournal a comprehensive list of images posted by soldiers of the 200th independent motorized infantry brigade in Pechenga, near Russia’s border with Norway in the north, on the “Vcontact” platform, the Barents Observer reported.
Comparing social media photos taken by soldiers in Pechenga shows the same soldiers in the war zone in Luhansk and Donetsk. The blog showed how the Russian military played an active role in both soldiers and armored vehicles.
Source: Written in Original by Thomas Nilsen, Barents Observer