Ukrainians mocked Russian troops while jamming their unsecured radio networks, NYT investigation reveals

A destroyed red armored personnel carrier viewed from the side in Marakiv, Ukraine, on March 4, 2022
A destroyed red armored personnel carrier in Marakiv, Ukraine, on March 4, 2022.Efrem Lukatsky/AP Photo
  • Russian troops were mocked by Ukrainians, intercepted transmissions obtained by the New York Times reveal.

  • The New York Times investigated audio from unsecured Russian military radio networks.

  • "Go home," one person said over the airwaves. "It's better to be a deserter than fertilizer."

Unsecured radio networks allowed Ukrainians with radio jammers to mock Russian troops during an attack on a town near Kyiv, a New York Times investigation reveals.

Russians advancing on the town of Makariv on February 27 encountered significant resistance and — over their radio networks — even derision amid their attack, the paper reported.

The audio featured includes one instance of a Russian military member, with the radio callsign "Buran-30," asking for clarification over the radio. "Please respond more clearly," he said, according to The Times. All that came in response, however, was a jaunty whistled tune — the work of a radio jammer, The Times reported.

In another moment, a person operating a jammer told Buran-30 to "go home," the paper reported.

"Buran, go home," the intercepted audio says, according to The Times' report. "It's better to be a deserter than fertilizer."

The Times' audio-visual investigators partnered with ham radio operators and open source groups to intercept Russian military communications during its assault of Makariv. The paper said it verified the communications with reference to publicly-sourced video and photo documentation as well as statements from Ukrainian officials.

The investigation also appears to have uncovered Russian troops discussing attacks on residential buildings in Makariv, as well as their panicked arguments when Ukrainian forces ambushed them.

It is unclear why Russian fighters are using unsecured communications, but it appears to have become the norm, The Verge reported.

Makariv lies on a strategic route around 45km from the outskirts of the capital and has been heavily fought over since the early days of the war.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian officials said its forces had retaken control of the town, preventing Kyiv from being completely encircled. As of Wednesday, however, the town was still contested, The Washington Post reported.

Mayor Vadim Tokar told the paper that Ukraine's military "only partially" controls the town, with around 15% still in Russian hands as of Wednesday.

Read the original article on Business Insider