Russians take $5m worth of farm vehicles from Ukraine dealership, only for them to be remotely disabled

$5m worth of new farm vehicles somehow made their way from a Russian-occupied city in Ukraine to Chechnya. Whoever expected to enjoy the plunder sadly found that the vehicles were inoperable, having been remotely disabled by the manufacturer.

Some of the machinery was taken to a nearby village, but some of it embarked on a long overland journey to Chechnya more than 700 miles away. The sophistication of the machinery, which are equipped with GPS, meant that its travel could be tracked. It was last tracked to the village of Zakhan Yurt in Chechnya. The equipment ferried to Chechnya, which included combine harvesters — can also be controlled remotely. "When the invaders drove the stolen harvesters to Chechnya, they realized that they could not even turn them on, because the harvesters were locked remotely," the contact said. The equipment now appears to be languishing at a farm near Grozny. But the contact said that "it seems that the hijackers have found consultants in Russia who are trying to bypass the protection."

These "consultants" will presumably use the instructions that are readily available on the internet; here's more on John Deere's draconian DRM and its shortcomings, worthwhile context given the coverage it's won them here.