New York Times Story on Intercepted Russian Forces Radio Communications

The New York Times have recently run an incredible video story about how Russian radio communications are being intercepted and recorded by ham radio operators and open source radio monitoring hobbyists in Ukraine. Some of the communications reveal the extent of the logistical issues experienced by the invading forces, and perhaps have even recorded evidence for war crimes.

It appears that much of the invading Russian forces use simple unencrypted analogue voice over HF channels that can be intercepted and recorded by anyone with an HF software defined radio, or anyone willing to monitor nearby web-based SDRs like KiwiSDRs and WebSDRs. In the video screenshots of recordings played back in SDR# and various WebSDRs are displayed.

The story focuses mostly on the audio recordings that highlight communications between Russian forces discussing attack plans, including plans to bombard residential areas with artillery. These recordings are cross-referenced with reports and videos of actual tank sightings and destruction in the areas discussed on the radio.

A later recording highlights communications from a distressed Russian vehicle under attack, requests for air support being unfulfilled, and urgent requests for supplies like fuel, food and water. 

Russia Struggled to Capture a Ukrainian Town. Intercepted Radio Messages Show Why.

Some of the monitoring projects involved are highlighted in the story and they include, Project Owl, Ukrainian Radio Watchers, ShadowBreak and NSRIC (Number Stations Research and Information Center). We are also aware of at least one other organization attempting to record communications within Ukraine as well that may be making use of RTL-SDRs, HackRFs and other SDRs.

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clifford wright

Just a thought. Perhaps the maintenance level on their encrypted radios is about the same as that on their vehicles. Would you rather be in insecure contact with your side, or not at all? Modern secure comms gear requires some rather sophisticated looking after and regular upgrading.


This video is largely propaganda, and contains a lot of lies.

Jacky Boy

What are the lies?


He will not answer, cus he does not tell lies.

clifford wright

You really did not want to see advances in modern communications make life harder for those who invade and destroy others countries? Did you know that one of Hitler’s serious mistakes was to shut down Amateur radio
in his territories. When war came it meant he had far fewer skilled operators which made life easier for Bletchley Park.


The funny part, on the same time this info is being published in Europe. No idea, but i got some funny feelings about it.

clifford wright

That is what happens in a connected World. Secrecy becomes more and more difficult and those who hide behind it find themselves more and more exposed. If as the article says Russian forces are using unencrypted radio comms then that makes them a generation out of date and they would be a pushover for any modern army.
If my name was Xi I would be getting as far away from this bunch of losers as I could!
I used to think that Bletchley Park was pretty clever, but just imagine what they could have done against a disorganised mob like the Russian army!
Incidentally, the exact same thing happened in 1914 on the Eastern Front, Imperial Russian operators got so slowed down by the encoding process that they began sending spark telegraphy messages in clear. It led to the battle of Tannenburg as the Germans read their mail.


Maybe just think out load, its just because they wanted be listening? (busy). Nothing seem what it look these days.


The Russian army has good secure communication systems. This is 100%. Why they didn’t use it, or didn’t always use it – that’s another question.

Attentive Radioamateur

I did not expect to see this resource as part of the information confrontation. Sadly…