Fears are growing that Russian aggression in Ukraine is preparing the way for war with the west. From a report in the Mirror, Vladimir Putin is playing hardball with the world.

A leaked British Army document reveals that Russian forces are improving their ability to combine their mighty tanks, artillery and other heavy weaponry with sophisticated electronic warfare.

Specifically they are honing their skills to jam enemy radio signals and render equipment like drones unusable.

The secret document concludes one of Russia’s goals in Ukraine is to practise “new methods of warfare as well as testing modern and prohibited weapons”.

These fears grow worse as Putin interferes with the US elections and his friendly association with Donald Trump. Russia has been testing certain strategies in the Ukraine with weapons and various tools to achieve wins elsewhere.

There are genuine concerns Russia’s mastery of tactics – including jamming and hacking – is a real game changer, threatening Nato aircraft, GPS-guided weapons and the ability of soldiers on the ground.

The kind of weaponry Russia is believed to be testing includes:

  • A device that uses acoustics to locate the position of snipers so they can be killed

  • Drones that fly in pairs – one lower than the other to draw fire while the other pinpoints targets

  • Text messages sent to entire communities minutes before an attack to create confusion and panic by spreading misinformation

  • Ways of making the enemy’s GPS navigation system falter and get them lost on the battlefield

  • Devices in civilian vehicles which can intercept soldiers’ communications.

Furthermore, ‘propaganda’ is another weapon that is being dusted off and used to influence the will of the people through social media, mass texting and other media – without firing a shot.

The document – produced by the army’s warfare branch – says that Britain must be better prepared to fight a war where everything is a weapon, from a gun to a drone to a Twitter feed.

It warns that soldiers are at risk of being targeted over Facebook and Twitter.

It even advises soldiers should leave phones and iPads at home – as details of US troops operating in Ukraine have been hacked and used to smear them.

President Valdimir Putin is combining a show of strength and propaganda – reminiscent of the Cold War – seeking to regain a sphere of influence in the region and once again make Russia compete with the West.

For Putin therefore, the annexation of Crimea has not just been hailed as a great victory back home – but has given him the chance to practice for what is to come.

That’s scary stuff indeed. And the fact that Republicans have been very cozy with Putin this election season shows just how deep it all goes.