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UK Intelligence: Russian information operations at sea increase risk of accidents

Thursday, 25 May 2023, 09:19

UK Intelligence has assessed one of Russia's information operations in the Black Sea, saying that such actions increase the risk of maritime accidents.

Source: UK Defence Intelligence, reported by European Pravda

Details: Geollect's analysis indicates that since 14 May 2023, the automatic identification system (AIS) data of commercial vessels has been remotely forged to create an image of the 65-kilometre-long "Z" symbol in the Black Sea, which Russia uses to propagate its aggressive war.


AIS is used to track ships, including to ensure their safety. The traces that make up the image indicate a ship speed of up to 188 km/h, which further confirms the data's forgery.

Quote: "Pro-Russian actors likely conducted the spoofing as an information operation, potentially in an attempt to bolster Russian morale ahead of an anticipated Ukrainian counter offensive."

More details: The UK Ministry of Defence has noted that counterfeiting AIS increases the risk of maritime accidents.


However, the ministry notes that despite Russia's virtual information operations in the Black Sea, its fleet remains physically vulnerable. In particular, the intelligence officers are drawing attention to the fact that on 24 May 2023, the Ivan Khurs reconnaissance ship was probably attacked.

Earlier, the UK Ministry of Defence spoke about discipline problems in the Russian army, which worsened after the start of forced conscription last year.

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