Russiaâ€™s human rights groups have voiced concerns over the Defence Ministryâ€™s plan to establish a new combat force responsible for radio frequency jamming devices, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reported today. The paper quoted its well-informed sources in the defence agency as saying that the plan to establish a new radio-electronic combat force has already been drawn up and awaits approval by the President.
The new force, the source reported, will be responsible for radio-electronic destruction of enemyâ€™s targets in space, on land or sea, and protection of troops and installations. The radio-electronic combat department has already been set up at the General Staff of the Defence Ministry, headed by General Andrei Osin, who will most likely take over the command of the new force.
Commenting on the ministryâ€™s plans, a prominent human rights advocate, Lev Ponomaryov, has voiced fear that the initiative could amount to restoration of the Soviet-era practice of jamming foreign radio and television broadcasts.
“It appears that our country is sliding back to the times when jamming devices were introduced in the Soviet Union. Measures taken against public rights groups will soon lead to their closure and dissidents will be working in their kitchens. Impeding dissemination of information via the Internet and radio will become the next logical step,” Ponomaryov told the paper.