In the February issue of a magazine published by the Russian Defense Ministry called Armeisky Sbornik (Army Collection), there was a curious article titled “Super Soldier for the Wars of the Future.” Written by Colonel Nikolai Poroskov, the article claims to detail the work done by the Russian military with "combat psychics," who can, allegedly, do all sorts of fun tricks—treat wounded soldiers on the battlefield, find hidden weapons caches, hack computers, intercept radio waves, telepathically interrogate, command dolphins—with their minds. First the hallucination gun, now psychic shock troops. It sounds like Vladimir Putin has been watching too much Anime.
The Russian-language article was reported on by the magazine RBC, which is also in Russian but is reasonably readable through the magic of Google translate. According to Colonol Poroskov, the psychic soldiers have been successful in efforts that go beyond even the most ridiculous huckster's psychic claims. Poroskov alleges, for instance, that psychic soldiers have been able to successfully read documents locked in a safe, written in a language they do not know. Poroskov also claims that the paranormal-trained soldiers have the ability to psychically detect if a person is a terrorist. Which is just a really bad idea in every way possible.
Beyond that, Poroskov claims that Russian psychics have been able to burn out generators, shut down computers, and give telepathic commands to dolphins. The article did not go into depth on how the the combat psychics were able to command dolphins, which is an absolute shame, but Russia and the USA have both actually trained dolphin soldiers.
Apparently, Russia's spooky division already has field experience. Poroskov writes that the paranormal special forces were deployed to Chechnya where they acted as psychic interrogators. Here's a quote from the article by way of Google translate, edited for grammar and clarity:
The command was interested in how to [extract] information: to reveal the enemy’s plan, the composition of the forces and assets involved. ... A person with metacontact technology may conduct, for example, non-verbal interrogation. He sees "through" a captured enemy soldier: what kind of person he is, what his weak and strong points are, whether he will go to recruitment. The reliability of the interrogation is almost one hundred percent. ... Special forces soldiers are trained in counteraction technologies to such interrogation in case of being taken prisoner. The highest persons of the country or the leaders of large industrial and banking structures [are also trained]—in order to preserve state or commercial secrets.
Questioned about the accuracy of the article, considering it sounds like a transcript of a paranoid YouTube video, the editor-in-chief of Army Collection gave a pretty solid non-answer and stated that their authors were responsible for the veracity of their writing.
Colonol Poroskov doesn't necessarily have the resume of a crackpot. A regular columnist for the journal, Poroskov also worked as a senior researcher for the military journal Herald of Air Defense, as well as an editor for Defense Ministry's main publication, Krasnaya Zvezda. Poroskov is a combat veteran, and was awarded the medal "For Services to The Fatherland."
So maybe he's just gone a bit kooky? Perhaps, but perhaps not. Anatoly Matviychuk, head of the analytical department of the magazine Soldiers of Russia spoke to RBC and said that Russia's paranormal training program is very real:
"Combat parapsychology...received great development in the period of 1960–1980s. The technique was developed by the Soviet Academy of Sciences in an attempt to discover the phenomenal characteristics of a person. A group of specialists worked under the leadership of the General Staff of the USSR Armed Forces. The achievements of that time still exist, and there are attempts to activate them. These techniques were tested in hot spots in Afghanistan and Vietnam."
We know that both the USA and Russia conducted military research into parapsychological phenomena in the past. Unless their previous research turned up absolutely nothing, there doesn't seem to be a reason to believe either country would have stopped. On the other hand, this seems like a fine way to hide where military funding is being spent, and had psychic interrogators actually been deployed, it's hard to believe that cat wouldn't have gotten out of the bag. Although, any potential whistleblowers probably had their brains melted.