Yeah, Russia Probably Forged A Weapons Cache Supposedly From The US Using A Video Game To Model The Weapons

from the fake-it-til-you-make-it dept

Video games are starting to get realistic. Like, crazy realistic. Between what graphics look like on the latest hardware to the unbelievable committment to authenticity many of the latest games have, it's starting to get hard to tell game footage apart from video footage. So hard, in fact, that it appears the pro-Russian groups had an "oopsie!" moment while trying to accuse America of arming Ukrainian rebels with Stinger missiles.

A video from Ukrainian pro-Russian separatists...shows the rebels storming an underground compound and dusting off a wooden case with a "US army" inscription, where a the MANPADS Stinger 92 surface-to-air missile is stored.
Here's a screenshot from the video, showing the Stinger missile in question.

Notice anything strange? Unless you're familiar with American military equipment, you might have missed the lettering at the bottom of the device that reads "TRACKING RAINER." You probably also aren't aware that the actual American Stinger missiles have that same lettering, except that it's supposed to read "TRACKING TRAINER" instead.
Between that and several other translation errors in the video, the general consensus is that the whole thing was cooked up by pro-Russians trying to make it look like America is sending weapons to the Ukraine (which we still might be) by creating mockups of the weapons and passing them off as the real thing. The next obvious question is what caused the pro-Russian groups to make the translation mistake on the Stinger missile in their video and what they used as a basis to model their mockup after? The answer is, of course, video games.
The most significant mistake is found in the inscription on the Stinger weapon itself, which reads "tracking rainer" instead of "tracking trainer". Video games blogger Anton Logvinov noted on his website that the same typo occurs in the EA first-person shooter game Battlefield 3, leading him to believe that the Stinger 'discovered' in Lugansk is likely fake.
Russian propaganda: so good it very nearly fooled a video game blogger! We will, as always, welcome our friends from the Putin internet propaganda brigade in our comments section.


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 27 Jul 2015 @ 2:21am

    The boy who cried 'Stinger Missile'

    Of course the funniest bit about attempted propaganda like this, and what makes it so incredibly stupid, is that if, at some point in the future they do discover an actual weapons shipment from the USG, they are going to have a much harder time getting people to believe that no, honest, this time it's real.

    In attempting to fabricate some pro-Russia propaganda, they instead shot themselves, and their credibility, in the foot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2015 @ 4:07am

      Re: The boy who cried 'Stinger Missile'

      Just remember: this propaganda isn't exactly made for Western consumption; it is primarily meant to enforce the idea that US and NATO are out for Russia's blood among the coutry's population.

      That same tactic has been used by the Soviet regime since the end of WWII, usually with better success, too.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Anonymous Howard (profile), 27 Jul 2015 @ 6:38am

        Re: Re: The boy who cried 'Stinger Missile'

        The same tactic has been used by every superpower and not-so-superpower nation worldwide (US, china, ussr, iran, israel. you name it).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Klaus, 28 Jul 2015 @ 3:55am

          Re: Re: Re: The boy who cried 'Stinger Missile'

          Remember Saddam's troops throwing Kuwaiti babies out of incubators, or those horrific stories of WWI German infantrymen bayonetting babies? All made up.

          It's difficult to distinguish truth from fiction, and although still disputed by the perpetrating nations, the weight of argument tells us that the Rape of Nanking happened, as did the Massacre of the Armenians.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2015 @ 10:01am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The boy who cried 'Stinger Missile'

            G.E.N.O.C.I.D.E of Armenians. But now that Israel has bought the word and also holocaust, any other people's suffering will never be accepted as one in the US. Pretty much every respectable nation on earth did so, even some not-so-respectable, they just called a duck a duck. Turkey and the US have a very special kinda hidden relationship, they wouldn't ruin that.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Jul 2015 @ 11:50am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The boy who cried 'Stinger Missile'

              Armenian Holocaust?

              Historians still believe there was such a thing.

              I always thought of a massacre as single events that kill lots of people such as the Boston Massacre or the Dresden Massacre Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki could also be considered massacres.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2015 @ 9:57am

        Re: Re: The boy who cried 'Stinger Missile'

        It's exactly what it's for. Kerry looked a bit bamboozled when Lavrov said at the very end of the Iran deal that these bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, anti-missile/missile bases are now irrelevant, right John?

        These bases are and always were to be able to first strike Russia, hell Kaliningrad is Russia but it's just an exclave north of Poland. The Iran excuse was a joke, but also to appease Israel.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2015 @ 4:11am

      Re: The boy who cried 'Stinger Missile'

      And now any real ones sent will actually be labeled "tracking rainer" and many keks will be had.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 27 Jul 2015 @ 4:11am

    You fool, your skepticism is what allows the Yankees to deploy weapons everywhere unhindered! They have been engaged in high mobility area weapons that can take any form factor and shoot fluids that will paint everything to oblivion. If you doubt me see this link. We are doomed!

    Ahem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    aerilus, 27 Jul 2015 @ 4:17am

    were not going to send our own surplus where it could be embarrassing. America is a pro at fueling and arming foreign conflicts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2015 @ 9:04am

      Re:

      ...America is a pro at fueling and arming foreign conflicts...


      Many of which the US should just leave alone, especially those that the US was not invited!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2015 @ 4:23am

    Russian propaganda: so good it very nearly fooled a video game blogger! We will, as always, welcome our friends from the Putin internet propaganda brigade in our comments section.

    No need to belittle the video game blogger. This would likely have passed by major news outlets without hitch, you know, if those would ever publish stuff against the US's interests.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Lisa Westveld (profile), 27 Jul 2015 @ 4:28am

    But what if the USA did create those weapons and misspelled it on purpose so everyone would think they're fake while they're really the real deal?
    And what if Russians are claiming these typo's were done on purpose by the USA because of the above logic, while it's not true?
    And what if the USA is claiming the Russians are lying when the Russians claim that the USA delivered these weapons including this typo to make it seem they did not send them?
    And what if the Russians... Oh, well... You get my line of thinking by now. The truth? We'll never know it...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 27 Jul 2015 @ 4:53am

      Re:

      what if the USA did create those weapons and misspelled it on purpose so everyone would think they're fake

      You, my friend, have seriously overestimated the "intelligence" in Military Intelligence.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Richard (profile), 27 Jul 2015 @ 4:55am

      Re:

      Whilst I sort of like the above comment it does fail the "never put down to conspiracy something that can be explained by cockup" test.

      More likely that a batch of Stingers actually had that mistake and the video game used a weapon from that batch as its model.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2015 @ 3:03pm

      Re:

      Occam's Rollercoaster...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2015 @ 5:00am

    Hey, fair is fair.

    We copy their censorship laws, they copy the weapons of our videogames.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2015 @ 5:33am

    There are still many people who will believe this is true, even if it is discredited beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 27 Jul 2015 @ 6:07am

    Cardboard tube

    The part I like best is how the tube in the fake shows the regular spiral lines that are usual in cardboard tubes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2015 @ 7:06am

    Both Countries are not innocent in the Ukraine conflict.

    Its like they are finding russian uniforms in their country, well hate to break it to you but you can find US uniforms in Canada, does that mean the Americans are invading Canada. Just finding Military gear in Neighbour countries does not mean they are behind this and it does not mean they are not behind it as well. There are always Canadian and American Troop movements on both sides of the border and sometimes we come really close to that border, does not mean we attacked each other.

    See I just proved that the USA is trying to invade Canada, I have the army jacket to prove it /s

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2015 @ 8:36am

      Re:

      The problem with that is that some of those uniforms were found on the backs of russian soldiers in ukraine.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2015 @ 1:41pm

      Re:

      Look! A squirrel!

      That argument might have held more weight if a) it had anything to do with the obviously faked weapon being discussed an b) if the US had recently annexed Newfoundland and Canada had recently had its political system in shambles.

      Wait... maybe the USA IS trying to invade Canada....

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2015 @ 7:12am

    So the Russians found a Battlefield cosplayer's stash?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Pen (profile), 27 Jul 2015 @ 7:17am

    So, even if this were true am why am I having a hard time caring? Last I checked, despite what Russia desires, the Ukraine was a sovereign power that they were illegally attempting to annex.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Lisa Westveld (profile), 27 Jul 2015 @ 7:58am

      Re:

      Actually, back in the time when the whole area was called the USSR, a lot of people were forced to move to other locations in the whole USSR. Especially the Russian citizens were moved to all of these "foreign" location, turning them into an invasive, legal aliens.
      Then the USSR fell apart, those Russians just stayed where they were, demanding they would become basically dual-citizens. A large population of the Ukraine and especially the Krim las a lot of Russian people.
      There are also plenty of Ukrainian people in Russia, though. The forced migrations worked in two ways and was meant to make everyone equal to one another.
      But now Russian and Ukrainian Nationalists are calling for a forced separation. And that's basically what started the whole conflict.
      Yeap, Putin is Evil, but Putin isn't Russia!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    jameshogg (profile), 27 Jul 2015 @ 7:53am

    I have a horrid feeling this comments section is about to be annexed by Putin-Bots claiming mass conspiracy and hypocritical lies and whathaveyou.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Shamu-06 (profile), 27 Jul 2015 @ 7:55am

    Silly Russians

    As a US Army Air Defense Officer of 28 years - Stingers are also NOT stored in wooden crates.

    Russians, pigs and assclowns - as always.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Grey (profile), 27 Jul 2015 @ 8:39am

    In the defense of the Russians...

    Our military labels Claymore mines "do not eat".

    Why would they notice what labels appear on missiles?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2015 @ 10:21am

      Re:

      They also got Meals Ready to Eat.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2015 @ 11:33am

      Re:

      "Our military labels Claymore mines "do not eat". "

      Did not believe you, was proven wrong. Feeling sorry for the guy who ate a Claymore. But also curious why he was doing it. Best I could come up with is "I'm so hungry I could eat a Claymore", his buddy "Do it!".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2015 @ 9:38am

    This is clearly a copyright violation.

    Developers of military FPS will have no incentive to include weapons if anybody can come along and steal their work with impunity.

    Nuke 'em from orbit, the bastards.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2015 @ 11:25am

    Fake or this happened

    *an evening of FPS with friends each with their own vodka bottle*
    Hey, guys... I have an idea. Let's fake a video of the US storing weapons in the Ukraine using this game engine.
    -Sounds good, I make the assets you make the game.
    Ok, your english is better anyway.


    So yeah, either it is a fake or done by some drunk wannabe militairy guys. If Russia or even Mr NoShirt had anything to do with it they'd use real weapons. The US is selling them like candy so my guess is that for a gov it isn't hard to get some of those.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2015 @ 11:37am

    propagandists can be tried for treason in the US still. I don't know how far you have to go before you become command and control or a combatant.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Jul 2015 @ 12:45pm

    Arms manufacturers still license the likenesses of their guns to video game manufacturers.

    It's one of the reasons why many games have guns that look a lot like real guns but are named differently and often have different characteristics.

    For a while I was developing an open source fictional gun library of game assets that would allow for a consistent set of guns that behaved similarly across multiple games.

    This presents yet another good reason to finish building such a library.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2015 @ 12:50pm

    So let me try and understand this. Since the Ukrainian pro-Russian separatists, are the rebels. The "legit government" wants to keep them as part of the ukraine instead of splintering off and becoming part of russia.

    The pro russian rebels sent out a misinformation video saying that the americans are arming them to fight against the neo nazi ukraine government that is currently being backed by the americans among other various goverments.

    Why would a Russian backed group send out any info claiming their forces are being supplied and armed by their enemies instead of being armed by their allies.

    If somehow the ukraine rebels are considered the pro neo nazi government forces then they need to call them something else.

    I don't care for either side tbh. I have several friends living in ukraine and this is making a mess of their lives. I wish one side or the other would just win and end it. or the fascists to let those that want to secede go ahead and do it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Watchit (profile), 27 Jul 2015 @ 1:17pm

      Re:

      The Pro-Russian rebels are claiming that the Americans are supplying the Western-backed Ukrainian government with weapons. It'd be silly to raid their own ware house to find weapons supplied to themselves.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2015 @ 1:02am

        Re: Re:

        WE probably all think that Russia is supplying the rebels with weapons and the EU and America is supplying the Ukraine with weapons though.

        It's a proxy war between Russia and America essentially.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Jul 2015 @ 12:50pm

    I wonder if the DoD Ravioli was real.

    Now I'm hungry.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    qwerty, 27 Jul 2015 @ 1:12pm

    The sad part of all this is that whatever is written on that fake gun and whatever mistakes there are, when it is shown in official propaganda TV channels in Russia, all the russian folks will believe that they are real US weapons.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Jul 2015 @ 1:18pm

      Cynical Russians and Ukranians

      I'm going to give the people of both nations the benefit of the doubt and assume they are at least as cynical as we are in the west.

      Their history, literature and vodka-making skills certainly play that out.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 27 Jul 2015 @ 1:31pm

    Good and Bad here

    With an OPEN internet and being able to wonder around and find Almost anything.
    Videos of Idiots. Pictures and Dogs Humping..
    With a bit of video editing, or Just Capture 1 Picture in a Video game...
    You can SAY anything. and have Proof..

    With the Covert Ops of the past..its HARD for the people to know What has and have NOT been done in our OWN NATION..

    It would be nice if our OWN gov would let us Know what they have FAILEd to do.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Nikolaj, 27 Jul 2015 @ 4:09pm

    It's "Ukraine", not "the Ukraine."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 27 Jul 2015 @ 4:17pm

      Re: not "the Ukraine."

      Why, is there more than one?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Jul 2015 @ 6:42pm

        The Ukraine as in the borderlands

        I.e the borderlands of the USSR.

        Ukraine without the article is, instead, the name of the country, which deserves to be expressed as its own thing rather than in relationship to someone else.

        As an old cold war fogey, I still get it wrong too.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Klaus, 28 Jul 2015 @ 5:32am

          Re: The Ukraine as in the borderlands

          I may be wrong, but I don't believe that Ukraine (the language) has articles - certainly Russian doesn't.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Jul 2015 @ 11:42am

            Russian and Ukranian articles.

            Probably not. But the Ukranians who've asked me not to call their territory The Ukraine were specifying protocol for English. It's a national identity thing with deep grudges about occupation by the USSR.

            Calling Ukraine The Ukraine is by no means a criminal act or even a severe faux pas, but it is step towards the Ukraine peoples owning their own destinies rather than being walked all over and occupied like poor Poland.

            I tend to want to oblige them.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    G Thompson (profile), 28 Jul 2015 @ 1:43am

    As someone who has the masters dogtag on both Stinger's and Igla weapons on BF3 I approve of the use of these images

    LOL!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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