"Apparently, the free air of the Cossack region is not suitable for the 'rubber' products of the occupiers."
Ukraine has accused Russian forces of making use of "rubber" inflatable tanks near the country's embattled Zaporizhzhia region in Eastern Ukraine, Insider reports — which have since deflated, it says.
The news comes after Ukraine's western allies including Germany, the US, and the UK announced they would send modern tanks to the embattled nation. But until these reinforcements arrive, the Ukrainian army has to rely on Soviet-era tanks to hold the line.
But whether they're dealing with a real threat is still up for debate. Ukrainian forces are saying Russia is using inflatable "dummy tanks," a battlefield invention that has been around since World War 1 that both Russia and the US have made extensive use of over the years.
"At the time when our partners are coordinating the supply of tanks to Ukraine, the invading army is also increasing the presence of 'tank units' in the Zaporizhzhia area," the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine wrote in a Facebook post, as translated by Insider.
The post was accompanied by satellite images that appear to show deflated Russian "tanks" lying flat on the ground, dispelling the illusion.
"Apparently, the free air of the Cossack region is not suitable for the 'rubber' products of the occupiers, so they deflate without fulfilling their main mission," the post reads. "Just like the inflated bravado of the Russian army."
It's not only Russia that has been deploying decoy weaponry. Ukraine used fake wooden rocket launchers to lure Russia into using up missiles.
In short, the use of misinformation isn't just limited to digital propaganda. Soldiers are relying on century-old tactics to confuse and mislead the enemy — but only to varying degrees of success.
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