A Ukrainian company is repurposing Russian oil barrels to make military decoys, the FT reported.
Oil barrels from Lukoil, one of Russia's biggest companies, are used to make fake radar reflectors.
Steel company Metinvest says it has produced more than 250 decoys for the Ukrainian army.
Russia's own oil barrels are being repurposed in decoy radars Ukraine is using to fool the invading army, according to a report in the Financial Times.
Ukraine is using cut-up oil barrels from the massive Russian energy company Lukoil to make fake radar reflectors, the outlet reported. Lukoil is Russia's second-largest company.
Placed on the battlefield, the decoys are designed to lure Russian forces into wasting expensive munitions destroying them.
An unnamed enterprise chief at steel company Metinvest told the outlet: "Recently, Russian forces fired Kh-35 missiles with a cost of around a million euros [around $1.1 million] to destroy a decoy radar system. We spent $1,000 on the decoy radar."
This followed a post on the company's Facebook page on September 13 that said Russia had targeted its mock-up of the Ukrainian P-18 Malachite radar. It included images of a smoking wreck.
Metinvest says it has supplied more than 250 military decoys to the Ukrainian army since the full-scale invasion began.
However, the addition of Russian materials into the decoys is an added touch that made the enterprise chief chuckle, according to the report.
The company seeks to use the cheapest materials possible, while including enough metal to provide a convincing heat signature on the battlefield. Its fake M777 155mm howitzers, costing less than $1,000, are partly constructed from sewer pipes, the company recently told CNN.
Various models of howitzer and mortar launchers are painstakingly reproduced by the company, often down to the last detail — even though the factory's staff have never seen the real thing, the FT reported.
Instead, they rely on Google to get the specs right. "It's all on the internet," the enterprise chief said.
The company knows it's succeeded if the cheap decoys are destroyed quickly.
"When they sit for too long we know we need to change the design," the enterprise chief told the FT.
Metinvest, which is majority controlled by Ukraine's richest man, Rinat Akhmetov, is not the only one producing decoys — some Ukrainian soldiers on the ground have also claimed wins with their own, more basic efforts.
In June, a soldier from Ukraine's 54th Brigade told Insider he had induced Russian troops to waste a Lancet drone — costing around $35,000 — on a wooden decoy "tank" he and his colleagues mocked up using 155mm ammunition boxes.
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