War without military secrets

2 January, 01:45 PM

It has been said more than once that this war is actually being broadcast live. As a TV presenter with seniority and experience of working on reality shows on air, I assure you: no secrets are possible

And tell me, are our partisans active in the occupied territories? Of course they are, and they have already caused a lot of damage to the occupier. Next, all the damage caused by our partisans is listed and the immediate plans of the people's avengers are outlined. Here is a summary of one of the numerous daily interviews.

Video of day

We recently rediscovered the power of a battery-powered radio at home, so we heard this on the radio. But as soon as the electricity returns, TV news returns with it. Not a day goes by that some presenter asks an expert live about the military’s plans, and the expert talks in detail about the state of affairs in the army. It also emphasizes where we have strong positions and where we are weaker. Of course, Ukrainians learn almost every hour from TV, radio, mass media publications, and posts on social networks, where and which weapons have already been taken, and where they are still waiting for them.

Against the background of the total outpouring of information, which is considered completely secret for a warring country, calls not to take pictures, not to shoot on video and not to make social media posts about where strikes hit look rather silly – a kind of imitation of secrecy next to a comprehensive, actually legalized violation of it. After another Russian shelling, the people of Kyiv (I'm talking about us, but residents of other cities probably do the same) go out of their way to find out from someone exactly where in such and such an area the strike hit. And without any effort, they will find out from all available sources of information when exactly the Armed Forces will liberate the next settlement. Or see where the artillery piece received from our Western partners is firing from, although calculating geolocation from such a video is as simple as on a photo from the site of a strike on a civilian object.

Here, an author of historical and military adventure novels recalls what he read about the first months of World War II. Then, in Soviet-controlled territory, spy mania took on hypertrophied forms. It is worth recognizing a certain justification of such practices – after all, right before in the 1930s, the USSR was all about exposing enemy agents wherever possible. The spies were mostly English and Japanese. For a certain short period, they were Finnish, called White Finns. There were almost no Germans, because Stalin was friends with Hitler, if we can say that Stalin had friends at all. In short, they were friends, as he himself understood this word. Well, the spies could not be French, because the Soviet elite inherited a tender love for the French Republic from the tsarist aristocracy.

In short, spies were sought everywhere. They were exposed by the pioneer Seryozha Shcherbachov in Arkady Gaidar's story "The Fate of the Drummer". They were caught on the movie screen by the border guard dog Julbars from the movie of the same name. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of propaganda posters with the warning Do not talk!, and at the same time, A chatterbox is a godsend for a spy. The late director Davyd Cherkasky humorously recalled how in the summer and early fall of 1941, when the Germans were already occupying part of Ukraine and rapidly approaching Kyiv, he and his peers tracked down spies in public toilets. And at the end of the 1970s, the adventure film Detachment from the Odesa Film Studio was shown in cinemas. According to the plot, a group of Soviet scout saboteurs was supposed to destroy a sunken Soviet Katyusha rocket system, the newest model of the secret MLRS at that time. Blow it up so that it does not reach the enemy so they does not develop the latest technologies.

Today, tactical and technical characteristics, along with diagrams and microcircuits of any weapon, are publicly available. To those who are too lazy to look, all this will be explained in detail on TV and radio broadcasts. To find out what is being done in the army now, you don't have to try. Even if it is a military secret for you, it will still be revealed despite your reluctance. Since March 2014, Ukraine has become not only a battlefield of civilizations, but also, it seems, a testing ground for a new type of war –not the First World War, but the first in the world, the first in the entire history of world wars, where military secrets are neglected.

It makes no sense. It has been said more than once that this war is actually being broadcast live. As a television presenter with seniority and experience of working on reality shows on the air, I assure you: there are no secrets possible by default. If the camera can be turned away or turned off at a certain moment, then no one will see anything unnecessary. And with the current war, this is also unrealistic. The broadcast never gets turned off, as in the London of 1984 described by George Orwell. Accordingly, hiding even the most classified secret becomes an exercise in futility.

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The Russians know exactly at which objects of critical infrastructure to launch missiles and drones – not because there is an extensive espionage network operating in Ukraine, but because this information was never considered secret.

We were a part of the USSR, all this was built at the expense of a unified union budget with the participation and often under the control of a person from Moscow. Thanks to Viktor Medvedchuk's efforts, the enemy made a mistake in assessing the ability of Ukrainians to resist and in the gentle attitude of Ukrainians towards Russia. But all other information about us is available from open sources.

And this bad news is unlikely to be balanced by the good news that we also know a lot about Russia, what they have there and where they stand or lie. Unlike the enemy, we are not in a position to fully utilize this knowledge in this war. We cannot destroy their infrastructure for various reasons. For the same reasons, we cannot blow up Putin's bunker or bomb the Kremlin. Meanwhile, our information space has become a hostage to itself because citizens literally demand detailed public reports on the progress of the military campaign from everyone who holds positions and makes decisions. If a hint of military secrecy is heard, the answer is an accusation of censorship and concealment of the truth.

What is the value of periodic demands to announce not only the enemy's losses, but also our losses? As soon as some rounded number is heard, our citizens either speak of an exaggeration or, on the contrary, a deliberate understatement. The need for information is legitimate. However, in times when there are no secrets and all spheres of life are publicly accessible, frankness cannot be not half done. Consumers of information no longer recognize prohibitions — and relayers of information compete to reveal more secrets.

However, the longer I listen, the more often I catch myself thinking: and suddenly I and others are being fooled after all. And everything that is presented as the truth and nothing but the truth is actually one huge disinformation operation designed and planned by someone, which works for us against the enemy. Russia buys into this, because Russia is itself a producer of lies which takes everything at face value, which catches our partisans where they are not. They strengthen their defense where it is not necessary. And one day ours will strike where the enemy is not expecting. Well, if this is to be the case, then war without military secrets is welcome.

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