Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service purchases special software for monitoring and informational influence on social networks. The Russian Federation has a powerful force of psychological operations (PsO). They consist of several components:
- forces and means of PsO military formations;
- forces and means of PsO special services;
- civilian government agencies involved in information operations;
- civilian non-governmental structures (controlled by the government), which are involved in conducting information operations;
- religious organizations involved in information operations.
The Ukrainian military portal analyzed Russian forces. In particular, the operational and tactical unit of PsO units includes separate detachments of psychological operations.
In total, there are four PsO units in Russia:
- Separate detachment of psychological operations Western Military District (in / h 03126) Sertolovo-2, Leningrad region.
- Separate detachment of psychological operations of the Central Military District (in / h 03138) Ekaterinburg.
- Separate detachment of psychological operations Southern Military District (in / h 03128) Rostov-on-Don.
- Separate detachment of psychological operations Eastern Military District (in / h 03134) Khabarovsk.
Each of them has a regional specialization and performs tasks in the interests of its military district. For example, the detachment in Khabarovsk works in the direction of China and Asia. The detachment is staffed by servicemen with knowledge of Oriental languages, ethnographers of Oriental countries, etc.
Russian psychological operations units are equipped with mobile and stationary printing and publishing complexes and sound stations. Ukrainian sources mention 324 PsO detachment in unit 35571 in Kaliningrad and PsO detachment in unit 03132 in Chita.
The modern structure of detachments of psychological operations of the Russian Federation
Detailed information on the structure of the psychological operations of the Russian army is missing. Most likely, the general management of PsO units is carried out by military unit 54777 (located in Moscow). This assumption is confirmed by the fact that this was the number of the Special Propaganda Department of the Main Political Directorate of the Soviet Army in the 1970s and 1980s. The Russians did not even change the number of the military unit, from which it can be concluded that this unit remained the governing body of the PsO units.
Approximately after 2010-2012, PsO units were withdrawn from military intelligence. According to unconfirmed information, the PsO forces and means management body (unit 54777) is now part of the Main Operational Department of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
So, according to one version, this part is now called the Center for Information Confrontation and Operational Masking (according to another – the Office of Information Confrontation). There is also a third version, according to which the information confrontation department performs tasks in the area of responsibility of the military district.
Centers of foreign military information and communication
Centers for Foreign Military Information and Communication (CFMIC) are units that analyze open sources of information. It concerned the military potential of foreign armies, the military-political situation in a particular country (regionally). And here the moral and psychological condition of the army and the civilian population of these countries was assessed.
To date, there is no reliable confirmation of their place in the structure of the PsO units of the RF Armed Forces. According to one version, the CFMIC centers were reorganized into separate detachments for psychological operations. According to another version, they remained part of the General Staff, and some PsO units are subordinated to these centers.
Bodies of psychological operations of the tactical link
The tactical unit includes PsO units (not to be confused with separate detachments) of individual reconnaissance brigades. These units do not have their own number. Such brigades were formed in each of the four military districts, as well as in the Black Sea Fleet. An interesting reconnaissance team is that it combines several intelligence units that act in the interests of the district:
- reconnaissance battalion;
- special-purpose detachment;
- the battalion of electronic reconnaissance and combat;
- company of unmanned aerial vehicles;
- a detachment of psychological operations;
- supply units.
Armament of parts of psychological operations of the Russian Federation
The armament of individual Russian PsO units helps to carry out tasks together with combat units, directly in the combat zone. In particular, the main armament of such PsO units includes sound stations, which are used for sound influence on the enemy’s personnel, imitation of the movement of equipment, sounds of battle, etc.
Application of ZS-88 in Syria:
Soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, launch an offensive on Kyiv. Until Kyiv destroyed you!
The systems of electronic warfare include “Leer-2” and “Leer-3”. It is in the service of electronic warfare units but can be used in the interests of psychological operations units.
“Leer-3” is a complex that simulates the operation of a mobile base station. Accordingly, all mobile phones near the station are automatically connected to it. This allows you to automatically determine the coordinates of groups of subscribers (individual subscribers), and automatically transmit the coordinates of their artillery to strike.
As a repeater, the “Leer-3” complex uses the Orlan-10 unmanned aerial vehicle, which is part of it.
To solve the problem of psychological influence on the enemy, the complex can send text messages to a group of enemy subscribers (or individual subscribers). For example, the Ukrainian military in Donbas received the following text messages: “Soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, launch an offensive on Kyiv. Until Kyiv destroyed you! ”
Thus, units of psychological operations of the Russian army, together with special operations forces and special services, are the main tool of Russia’s military aggression in the form of “hybrid war”.
In order to counteract the informational and psychological influence of the relevant units of the Russian army, Ukraine must intensify its work on gathering information on the structure, composition, technical capabilities, forms, and methods of work of Russian PsO units.