No more sharing pictures of your hot Russian girlfriend while on duty, Russian President Vladimir Putin told his armed forces … or else.
That’s right, the Russian commander in chief has signed a decree banning members of the armed forces from carrying smartphones, tablets and other gadgets capable of recording and storing information while on duty.
“The violation of the regulation will be considered a gross disciplinary offense,” the document said, in typical Russian military fashion.
A similar law adopted last year banned military personnel from carrying gadgets with cameras or that can connect to the Internet, the report said.
In recent years, photos and video footage inadvertently posted online via the smartphones of members of the Russian military revealed information about the location and movements of its troops and equipment — a situation no doubt embarrassing to a regime that is deliberately shutting off western influences of any kind.
Some of the photos and videos have been used to prove the presence of Russian military personnel in eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian armed forces have been fighting Moscow-backed separatists since April 2014, the report said.
Russia has denied a troop presence in the Ukrainian eastern region known as the Donbas, where some 13,200 people have been killed in the ongoing conflict.
Human rights activists have sometimes also been able to obtain from videos and photos on the Internet proof that can be used in cases involving the brutal hazing of young recruits in the Russian military.