The Ukrainian military is reportedly using tracking systems and deception tactics to defeat their Russian adversaries, in what has become one of the most mainstream proxy wars of modern history.

The information came from Roman Saponkov, a Russian military reporter on Telegram, who learned that a recent defeat to the Russians came due to advanced Ukrainian command & control techniques- as well as some sneaky deception.

“The guys on the ground are reporting en masse that our tactical insignia, i.e. ‘Z’ and ‘V,’ had been applied to the enemy’s equipment, causing confusion in the first hours of combat as the front collapsed,” he wrote. “If this is true, it means the enemy has an American network-centric battle management system, where all units on the battlefield are grid-linked and marked on computers, even at company level, let alone at battalion-regiment level.”


The implications are quite serious for Russian forces, who apparently have no real counter to such tactics. 

“Thus, even a company sergeant in a Humvee, BMP, or T-64 can see on the screen where his own are and where the others are, and he doesn’t care what marks are on the armor” Saponkov added. “If this is so, it is very bad, because it is a qualitatively new level of troop control. And our retreat is a consequence of losing the equation.”

If true, the Ukrainian move to paint Russian markings was a bold one, and signified a trust in their friend-or-foe identification system. 

Some have speculated that the Ukrainians are using US-made troop tracking equipment, while others claim it is likely to be off-the-shelf hardware, such as Android apps.

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