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Russian military to ban smartphones

The use of smartphones for the Russian military in Syria has long been prohibited by the Russian Ministry of Defense, but not strictly based on any law. Now the rules on smartphones will be made into laws and will include a wider selection of Ministry of Defense units, a source in the military department said.

Published: February 17, 2018, 10:48 am


    The current protocol applies only to servicemen in Syria, but may soon be extended to all civil servants of the Defense Ministry.

    Currently, Russian servicemen in Syria are also prohibited from using social networks.

    “Foreign resources” have full access to any smartphone, and devices belonging to the Russian military are constantly being analyzed by foreign special services, the ministry fears.

    For that reason, legal amendments “On Military Duty and Military Service” and “On the Status of Servicemen” have been planned.

    The chief editor of Mobile Telecommunications, Leonti Bukshtein, said that the introduction of such laws in the army was long overdue. “We will not present this initiative as a “restriction of rights”, as some of our “progressives” will surely point out.

    “After all, it’s about the safety of the military – and the Internet is a platform for the ‘clash of superpowers’, like any other. So this had to be done a long time ago,” Bukshtein said.

    Modern technologies make it easy to monitor any information on the web. “If a soldier has a smartphone – there is no need for spies.”

    President Vladimir Putin has similarly recently admitted that he does not own a smartphone.

    The total ban on smartphones coincided with the dispute between NATO and Russia over the deployment of Russian Iskander-M rockets in its own Kaliningrad region.

    The Russian response come in the wake of the US budget for 2019 provisioning $6.3 billion for “deterring Russia in Europe by military means”. The plan also envisages an increase in American troop presence in the EU as well as training NATO forces on the Russian border.

    In case of a conflict, the main target of these Iskanders would the American missile defense systems in Eastern Europe, installed under the pretext of “defending against Iranian missiles”.

    In Romania, the Aegis US missile defense complex is already being kept on combat readiness, and in May 2016, the construction of an improved Aegis ground-system began in the Polish town of Redzikowo.

    In an interview with RT, the deputy chairman of the Federation Council’s Committee on International Affairs, Andrey Klimov, explained: “Iskanders have been placed there [in the Kaliningrad region] due to the fact that NATO is expanding its military activity near our borders…We, it is worth noting, are doing this on our own sovereign land. That is the most important point. The US’ missile defense systems are deployed far from their borders. And a troop contingent is surrounding Russia’s entire perimeter.”

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