This information has already been confirmed by official representatives of the Pentagon and the Department of State.
The United States announced that the intelligence community had irrefutable evidence of the Kremlin’s plans to fabricate an attack by the Ukrainian military on Russia or on Ukrainian areas currently held by separatists in the east of the country. Thus, according to the Pentagon and the Department of State, Russia could get a pretext for committing military aggression against Ukraine.
“We have information that the Russians probably want to fabricate a pretext for an invasion,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said at a press briefing at the Ministry of Defense.
He told reporters that, according to Washington, the Russian government plans to stage an attack by Ukrainian armed forces or intelligence agents “on the sovereign territory of Russia or on the Russian-speaking population.” The latter may refer to a significant Russian-speaking population living in eastern Ukraine.
“We believe that as part of this fake attack, Russia will create a very visual propaganda video that will show corpses, actors portraying mourners, as well as images of destruction,” Kirby said. “Judging from our experience, very few such things happen without approval at the highest level of the Russian government.”
The plan of a fake attack on Russia, or on Ukrainian territory, where the predominantly Russian-speaking population lives, was revealed in declassified intelligence that the United States has shared with Ukrainian officials and European allies in recent days.
The White House in December accused Russia of developing an operation to organize a fake attack to create a pretext for invading Ukraine. The UK recently named the names of Ukrainian citizens accused by London of having links with Russian intelligence officers who planned the overthrow of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“We have seen similar actions by the Russians in the past, and we think it’s important to report it when we see something like this,” John Kirby said.
The Pentagon did not provide detailed information confirming the intelligence findings.
Kirby said the Kremlin would also deploy military equipment in service with Ukraine to make the scheme more plausible.
The Associated Press agency, citing a senior source in the White House, reported that Russia may use Turkish-made Bayraktar drones as part of this operation.
Drones manufactured by Turkey, which is part of NATO, were used by Ukraine against pro-Russian separatists in the Donbas, which caused anger in Moscow. Russia claims that the use of drones is a violation of the Minsk agreements.
On Thursday afternoon, information about intelligence regarding Russia’s plans to fabricate an attack was confirmed by the Department of State.
Department of State spokesman Ned Price told reporters that the United States had released intelligence to “expose” the scale of Russia’s destabilizing plans for Ukraine and thus dissuade Moscow from continuing this “dangerous” venture.
Information about Russia’s plans to fabricate a pretext for invading Ukraine demonstrates shocking evidence of Moscow’s aggression, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said on Thursday.
“This is clear and shocking evidence of Russia’s unprovoked aggression and its behind–the-scenes actions to destabilize Ukraine,” Truss tweeted. “Such bellicose plans against a sovereign democratic country are completely unacceptable, and we condemn this in the strongest possible terms.”
In turn, the Ukrainian authorities recognize the presence of the Russian threat, but note that it has existed since 2014. In recent weeks, Kyiv has repeatedly stated that they are not observing such a concentration of Russian forces that would indicate an imminent invasion.
The Kremlin calls the American data on Russia’s preparation of provocations unfounded. At the same time, Moscow itself claimed that the fighters of a certain American PMCs were allegedly preparing provocations using chemicals in the Donbas, but no evidence of this was presented.