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Pentagon studying Putin's body language

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A research team at the Pentagon is studying body movements of Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to be able to anticipate his future actions.

The research team is using the principles of movement pattern analysis to predict actions of Putin and several other world leaders, USA TODAY reported on Thursday.

The project, named “Body Leads,” is being backed by the Office of Net Assessment (ONA) which reports its findings to US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

US officials are seeing the project as an opportunity which helps them anticipate the Russian President as tensions between Washington and Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine have intensified over the past days.

Some reports last week said that the US Intelligence Community was caught off guard by what they called Russia’s deployment of military troops into Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

However, the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper rejected such reports as “inaccurate” and defended US spy agencies’ performance through a statement on Wednesday.

Putin has dismissed the notion that the uniformed armed people without insignia who are currently present in Crimea are Russian soldiers. He says they are members of the Crimean self-defense forces.

Last week, CNN also reported that the US is stepping up its intelligence and surveillance operations against Russia in order to get “inside the Russian decision making cycle” regarding the situation in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon announced on Wednesday plans for expanding aviation training in Poland and sending more F-15 fighter jets to police the skies over Baltic states.

The US Navy destroyer USS Truxtun is also en route to the Black Sea for joint drills with Romanian and Bulgarian forces near Ukraine’s Crimea region.

The deployment of the US guided-missile destroyer comes after the parliament of Ukraine’s autonomous republic of Crimea voted in favor of joining the Russian Federation and holding a referendum in 10 days time so that Crimean citizens could give their views on the status of the region.

During a speech at the White House on Thursday, US President Barack Obama said the proposed referendum “would violate the Ukrainian Constitution and violate international law.”

Earlier in the day, Obama also signed an executive order to impose sanctions against Russian individuals whom the White House said are “responsible for or complicit in threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”


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