US exposes what it says is Russia’s attempt to fabricate the text of the invasion

WASHINGTON – The United States obtained intelligence on a Russian plan to fabricate an invasion of Ukraine using a fake video that built on recent disinformation campaigns, according to officials. senior government officials and others notified of this document.

This plan – which the US hopes to derail by making it public – involves staging and filming a fabricated attack by the Ukrainian military on Russian territory or on Russian-speaking people in the east. Ukraine.

Officials say Russia intends to use the video to accuse Ukraine of “genocide” of Russian-speaking people. It would then use the report to justify an attack or ask separatist leaders in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine to invite Russian intervention.

The officials would not disclose any direct evidence of the Russian plan or how they learned about it, saying doing so would compromise their sources and methods. But a whole recent Russian disinformation campaign has focused on false accusations of genocide and recent political actions being carried out in Russia’s parliament. recognition of secessionist governments in Ukraine lent reliable intelligence.

If implemented, the Russian operation would be an extension of a propaganda theme which US intelligence officials and outside experts have said Moscow has been promoting on social media, conspiracy sites and with state-controlled media since November.

Officials said the video was elaborately planned, with scattered graphics of the aftermath of a staged explosion, movies of destroyed sites, fake Ukrainian military equipment. , Turkish-made drones and actors who play Russian-speaking mourners

US officials would not say exactly who in Russia planned the operation, but a senior administration official said “Russian intelligence was closely involved in the effort.”

The officials said that while it is unclear whether senior Russian officials would approve the operation, the plan has gone a long way and the United States is very confident that it is being taken seriously. Russian officials found the body to use in the video, discussed the actors playing the mourners and planned how the military equipment in the video appeared to have been supplied by Ukraine or NATO.

While the plan may sound far-fetched, US officials have said they believe it could work to set the stage for a Russian military campaign – an outcome they say they hope will less likely to happen by making the effort public.

Highlights of the intelligence were declassified, in the hope of both falsifying the plan and convincing allies and officials of the seriousness of the Russian plan. Officials interviewed for this article requested anonymity to discuss declassified, but sensitive, intelligence before it was made public.

Avril D. Haines, director of the National Intelligence Service, and other senior administration officials briefed members of Congress about the document on Thursday. Details of the information have also been shared with allies, as the United States and Britain promote a kind of intelligence diplomacy.

In recent weeks, both Washington and London have outlined elements of Moscow’s war plans, highlighting army construction plan, expose the conspiracy to destroy the false flag and reveal the Russian plan to form a friendly government in Kyiv.

This strategy is aimed at convincing allies and partners that Russia is not recalcitrant and has real war plans it can execute. The releases are also intended to force Russia to abandon and re-establish its plans, further delaying any plans of aggression.

According to diplomats, the longer the international community can delay President Vladimir V. Putin’s decision on whether to approve a military operation against Ukraine, the more likely he will be Reconsider your plan.

Some US and British officials argue that Mr. Putin underestimated the number of casualties his troops would incur in any direct invasion of Ukraine.

The push for intelligence diplomacy is based in part on Britain’s effort to respond forcefully to the Russian nerve agent attack in the UK in 2018. The UK government has released information about its involvement. of Russia openly, and privately share other intelligencebecause it prompted allies to expel Russian diplomats in response.

The move to go public with the plans comes as the Duma, Russia’s parliament, begins to consider legislation that would recognize eastern Ukraine as an independent territory, just as it has recognized Russian-occupied areas in Georgia.

If Russia’s parliament recognizes Ukraine’s Donbas region as an independent state, a Moscow-appointed leader of that breakaway country could ask for help from Mr. Putin. Mr. Putin has argued repeatedly that in such a case an intervention would be in accordance with international law, and precedent set by the United States.

American officials believe the plans for the video include a Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drone used by the Ukrainian Army.

In November, The Ukrainian military used one of the drones to launch a counterattack on a howitzer used by Russian-led separatists to kill a Ukrainian soldier. Russia scrambles for jets and the situation escalates.

Russian disinformation in recent weeks has accused NATO of planning an invasion or intervention in Ukraine, a false claim. Emphasizing the presence of weapons made by Turkey, a NATO ally, would allow the Russians to accuse the alliance of helping to increase tensions in the conflict and possibly lead to the death of a NATO member. Russian speakers.

The The draft law is under consideration in Russia will recognize what Moscow calls the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. Russia considered recognizing governments in the separatist-controlled region in 2014, but ultimately refused.

The proposal has been revived in recent days by members of the Communist Party, the second largest faction in the Russian State Duma. Russian lawmakers pushing for the law argue that Ukraine is planning an attack to reassert control over the region. Russian lawmakers argue that if that happens, Russian-speaking residents will be denied basic rights.

Ukrainian oppression of Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine is a common topic in Russian state media and websites controlled by Russian intelligence agencies. But the reality is that language is not the hard line in Ukraine that Moscow suggests. US exposes what it says is Russia’s attempt to fabricate the text of the invasion

Fry Electronics Team

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