Ukraine deploys armed dummies to expel Russians from Kharkiv

Ukraine has a new line of defense in the war against Russia. Standing tall in everything from tactical gear to gowns, Ukraine has deployed mannequins in certain areas north of Kharkiv as Russian troops continue to withdraw from the city toward the nearby border.

The dummies are heavily armed with dummy rifles and other makeshift weapons aimed at whoever decides to attack them.

The dummies are located north of Kharkiv, which is in northeastern Ukraine and just a few miles from the Russian border. Dummies appear to be pointing guns as Ukraine moves homemade improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to the front lines.

A mannequin points to a former frontline position on May 15, 2022 outside Kharkiv, Ukraine. Ukrainian and Western officials say Russia is withdrawing forces around Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, suggesting it could redirect troops to southeastern Ukraine.
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

This comes as there are multiple reports of Ukrainian fighters defending the city and driving Russian troops back.

Dummies may be easy to find in Kharkiv, which has been under heavy shelling by Russian forces since the war began in February. Many shopping malls and department stores have been destroyed in the process, leaving much behind in the rubble.

It is not clear who dressed and placed the mannequins in their positions.

Ukrainian decoy troops and dummies
A mannequin points to a former frontline position on May 15, 2022 outside Kharkiv, Ukraine. Ukrainian and Western officials say Russia is withdrawing forces around Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, suggesting it could redirect troops to southeastern Ukraine.
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

Using dummies as decoy troops during warfare is nothing new. Serbia used them in 1999 during the Kosovo War. Decoy troops are generally more effective “against helicopters and planes,” according to military strategist Justin Crump.

“Targeting fakes wastes effort and ammunition, which is how Serbia made effective use of decoys in 1999. It can also mislead reconnaissance efforts,” Crump said at the London timetables.

Russia has also used dummies in this war to deceive Ukraine, and the Russians also claimed that Ukraine used dummies to present as corpses to deceive the international community.

Rossiya24, which is the Russian state television network that is watched both inside and outside Russia, last month showed a video of what they said were Ukrainian soldiers preparing a mannequin to sensationalize “theater of war”.

“Here you can see the preparations for the ‘theater’, literally, of the war activities in Ukraine,” the reporter said. “As you can see, it’s not complicated. Two men in military uniforms are wrapping this mannequin in duct tape, with the clear purpose of presenting it as a corpse.”

This Russian TV network video came after photos of bodies appeared on the streets of Bucha, which the Russian government says was also staged by the Ukrainian government to gain sympathy.

“Another fake attack was carried out the other day in the city of Bucha in the kyiv region after the Russian military left the area in accordance with the plans and agreements reached,” the foreign minister said in early April. of Russia, Sergei Lavrov. “A fake attack was made there a few days later, and the Ukrainian representatives and their Western sponsors are promoting it on all channels and social networks.”

Claims that Ukraine staged dead bodies were debunked by news week.

The war will enter its 13th week on Wednesday, meaning it will have lasted a quarter of a year so far with no clear end in sight.

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