Putin bans Russian military from carrying phones, electronic devices
In an age where American military personnel are abusing TikTok despite being told not to use the Chinese-made app, the armed forces of Russia have been effectively banned from using mobile devices while on military operations.
The order, which came from President Vladimir Putin himself, comes as Russia struggles to cope with the prevalence of social media use amongst the population- a trend that has historically led to their less-than-overt military involvement being exposed.
In 2015, VICE News tracked one Russian soldier -identified as Bato Dambaev- as his unit pushed through the Ukraine, despite claims that Russian troops were not operating there. Utilizing selfies, group photos and other social media posts, the journalists managed to pinpoint exact locations where the soldier had been.
In response to incidents similar to Dambaev’s, the Russian military has now banned devices that can transmit location data, photos, videos and audio.
A similar law bans devices that can connect to the internet.
“The violation of the regulation will be considered a gross disciplinary offense,” Radio Free Europe reported.
The US has also struggled with social media use while deployed. From using the Chinese-made TikTok app (which can be tracked and requires user information) to location data being leaked, military operations have been hampered by servicemembers’ desire to be noticed online.
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