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Ukrainian Armed Forces' equipment allegedly destroyed by Russians turned out to be decoys - CNN

Ukrainian Armed Forces' equipment allegedly destroyed by Russians turned out to be decoys - CNN Ukraine actively uses decoys on the battlefield (Photo:

Ukraine is actively substituting its military equipment on the battlefield with decoys to make the Russian army expend ammunition on false targets, according to CNN.

The idea is for these decoys to appear as legitimate targets from the sky without requiring excessive costs. This meant finding a balance in the choice of materials, combining inexpensive plywood that doesn't emit the necessary thermal signature to deceive Russian radars and drones with thermal guidance, with enough metal to make them convincing.

"War is expensive and we need the Russians to spend money using drones and missiles to destroy our decoys", explains Metinvest's spokesman. "After all, drones and missiles are expensive. Our models are much, much cheaper," said an anonymous representative of the Ukrainian company producing decoys.

For instance, a 155mm howitzer like the M777 costs several million dollars, while a decoy costs less than $1000 and consists of nothing more unusual than old sewer pipes. But, crucially, destroying these decoys using drones costs the Russian forces just as much as actual destruction.

"After each hit, the military gives us trophy wreckage," explains the company's spokesman, "We collect them. If our decoy was destroyed, then we did not work in vain."

Initially, these decoys were relatively crude. When the war began, company employees rushed to manufacture copies to send to the front lines, making Ukraine appear better armed than it was. However, as the war prolonged and weaponry arriving in the country became more sophisticated, the same evolution took place with the decoys.

At present, hundreds of decoys have been destroyed. The actual test of the success of each decoy design is how long they stay within the enemy's view. Designers return to the drawing board if one design remains in view for too long. Consequently, the catalog of the company's counterfeit weaponry becomes impressively vast and diverse.

Russian losses

The Oryx Center, which registers only those losses that can be confirmed, reported that since the beginning of the war in 2022, 2082 Russian tanks have been destroyed, damaged, abandoned, or captured. Meanwhile, Ukraine's tank inventory has grown since the beginning of last year, whereas the Russian tank fleet has halved.

For more details on the quantity of weaponry in Russia - in the material by RBC-Ukraine titled "War of attrition - How much resources Russia has, will they suffice for a protracted war."