Russian soldiers called idiots for destroying 3G towers

Russian military destroyed 3G towers they need

Russian military destroyed 3G towers they need Source: Pixabay

Unconfirmed reports are coming in that Russian soldiers are deliberately destroying 3G towers , masts they need to use their secure communication system. Describing the soldiers as “idiots”, the reports say that the troops had to abandon their system allowing their communications to be hacked.

According to investigative journalism organisation Bellingcat, the switch to insecure messaging meant that a conversation revealing the death of Major General Vitaly Gerasimov, Chief of Staff of the 41st Army was intercepted by Ukrainian intelligence.

Bellingcat say that Russian soldiers have resorted to personal phones and standard SIM cards to keep in touch.

Executive Director, Christo Grozev, said in a series of Tweets: “The idiots tried to use the Era cryptophones in Kharkiv, after destroying many 3G cell towers and also replacing others with stingrays. Era needs 3G/4G to communicate.”

He says that: “In the phone call in which the FSB officer assigned to the 41st Army reports the death to his boss in Tula, he says they’ve lost all secure communications.”

That message confirms the reports that local SIM cards are being used to relay messages, effectively providing Ukraine intelligence opportunities to intercept key messages.

According to their online information, Bellingcat specialises in uncovering information on events such as the Salisbury poisonings and events in Syria by analysing large data sets.

In the Ukraine conflict, the group has previously debunked “staged” Russian excuses for war.

Stingrays are eavesdropping devices that are used to “replace” normal cell towers, so that nearby mobiles connect to the listening device instead.

Era is an encrypted communication system used by the Russian military: such systems mean that military units can communicate without the risk of eavesdropping.

Grozev said “In the call, you hear the Ukraine-based FSB officer ask his boss if he can talk via the secure Era system. The boss says Era is not working.

“Era is a super expensive cryptophone system that they introduced in 2021 with great fanfare. It guaranteed work “in all conditions”.”

Bellingcat also claims to have identified the officer on the call: Dmitry Shevchenko, a senior officer in the FSB, however these claims and reports have yet to be independently verified.

This is not the first time that claims have been made about the interception of Russian communications, due to their unit’s reliance on walkie-talkie radios and smartphones.

According to a report in the Guardian British intelligence company Shadowbreak claimed to have intercepted messages which showed that Russian troops were demoralised and had ‘deliberately punched holes’ in vehicle fuel tanks to avoid reaching the front line.

Indiscriminate bombing by Russian military could well have destroyed the 3G towers, however it is also known that the invasive forces are purposely destroying these masts in an attempt to block the Ukrainians from communicating.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at