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According to magazine operated by Russia's Defense Ministry, Moscow trains paranormal soldiers

Source: RBC
Kremlin Press Service, edited by Meduza

The February edition of Armeisky Sbornik (Army Collection), the Russian Defense Ministry’s official magazine, features a strange article titled “Super Soldier for the Wars of the Future” that describes the military’s work with “combat psychics.” The magazine RBC noticed the text, which says the Russian military supposedly uses paranormal tactics to help soldiers learn foreign languages, treat wounded troops in battle, detect ambushes, hideouts, and weapons caches, crash computer programs, burn crystals, eavesdrop on conversations, and disrupt telecommunications, including television and radio waves. Russia also apparently has specialists who use telepathy to question prisoners and give orders to dolphins.

Telepathic, non-verbal interrogation, the article explains, can determine which enemy soldiers are receptive to recruitment and reveal their individual strengths and weaknesses. The military also supposedly offers training in “psychic countermeasures,” teaching special forces soldiers to hold up during enemy interrogation and top national, industrial, and banking officials to guard their secrets against enemy telepaths. According to Armeisky Sbornik, Russia’s armed forces once deployed paranormal assets in Chechnya.

Does this stuff work? Armeisky Sbornik says there have been several successful “experiments”: psychics have allegedly managed to read a document locked in a safe, written in a language they don’t speak, and identify terrorists and “terrorist candidates.”

Anatoly Matviichuk, the head of the Analytics Department at the magazine Soldaty Rossii (Soldiers of Russia), told RBC that paranormal troops deserve a place in Russia’s military, explaining that Soviet scientists worked to develop the methods especially between the 1960s and 1980s. Evgeny Aleksandrov, who heads an anti-pseudoscience commission at the Russian Academy of Sciences, says “military parapsychology” is bunk.

Vladlen Prilutsky, Armeisky Sbornik’s chief editor, hasn’t exactly embraced the article’s findings, telling RBC that his authors are responsible for the credibility of their own texts. The magazine, he says, simply publishes “articles containing research, information, and discussion about military topics.”

The article’s author is a reserve army colonel born in 1951 named Nikolai Poroskov, who’s worked with at least two other military publications. He fought in Abkhazia, Tajikistan, Chechnya, and Sierra Leone, receiving the Order “For Merit to the Fatherland” for his service.

The Russian authorities have a history of flirting with paranormal pseudoscience. In December 2006, retired KGB General Boris Ratnikov claimed in an interview that he was involved with a top-secret occult project that succeeded in reading U.S. State Secretary Madeleine Albright’s mind, attributing to her “a pathological hatred of Slavs,” and the belief that America should seize Russia’s natural resources. Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev later internalized this information, claiming in a June 2015 interview that Albright actually said these things aloud.

In 2009, State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov supported lobbying by a pseudoscientist named Viktor Petrik, who unsuccessfully lobbied the Russian government to spend trillions of rubles to buy and install his phony water filtration devices in schools and other public facilities.

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