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US says Russia readying ‘false-flag’ operation to invade Ukraine


FILE PHOTO: U.S. White Home press secretary Jen Psaki speaks throughout a press briefing on the White Home in Washington, U.S., Dec. 20, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON, United States — Russia has put in place operatives skilled in explosives to hold out a “false-flag” operation to create a pretext to invade Ukraine, US officers alleged Friday.

The USA launched intelligence findings the day after Nationwide Safety Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that Russia, which has amassed tens of 1000’s of troops on the Ukrainian border, was “laying the groundwork to have the choice of fabricating a pretext for an invasion.”

White Home Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated US intelligence believed Russia might start the operations “a number of weeks” earlier than a navy invasion, which might begin between mid-January and mid-February.

“We now have info that signifies Russia has already prepositioned a gaggle of operatives to conduct a false-flag operation in japanese Ukraine,” Psaki informed reporters.

“The operatives are skilled in city warfare and in utilizing explosives to hold out acts of sabotage towards Russia’s personal proxy forces.”

Russia rapidly denied the account, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling the US statements “unfounded.”

However Pentagon spokesman John Kirby stated the intelligence was “very credible” and that the classification had been downgraded to permit its launch to the general public.

He stated that Russian operatives might embody intelligence brokers, navy components and different safety companies.

“They usually hybridize their personnel to such a level that the strains will not be essentially actually clear,” Kirby informed reporters.

Rise in disinformation

The allegations come as Ukraine was hit by a significant cyberattack, which led NATO to vow to step up cooperation with Kyiv for on-line safety.

Psaki stated america was “involved” by the assault, however stopped in need of blaming Russia, saying there was not but a discovering on who was responsible.

Psaki stated Russia, alongside its purported false-flag preparations, had ramped up a disinformation marketing campaign on social media, together with posts that accuse Ukraine of rights violations and the West of frightening tensions.

“Our info additionally signifies that Russian affect actors are already beginning to fabricate Ukrainian provocations in state and social media to justify a Russian intervention and sow divisions in Ukraine,” she stated.

The USA has repeatedly accused Russia of spreading conspiracies and disinformation on social media.

Psaki stated Russian-language justifications for Moscow’s narratives on Ukraine on social media have jumped by 200 % in December to almost 3,500 posts per day.

Sullivan, in his briefing to reporters, stated Russia had used comparable ways in 2014 when it seized Crimea and backed an ongoing insurgency in japanese Ukraine.

“We noticed this playbook in 2014. They’re getting ready this playbook once more,” Sullivan stated.

The USA launched the findings on the alleged false-flag plans after every week of talks with Russia to defuse tensions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied plans to invade Ukraine however has demanded safety ensures from the West, together with guarantees to not increase NATO eastward.

Sullivan stated Thursday that america most well-liked diplomacy however was ready to “defend” allies and to impose main financial prices on Russia if it invades.

Russia stepped up its stress on Ukraine in 2014 after an rebellion toppled a authorities that had rejected stress to maneuver the nation nearer to the West.

Greater than 13,000 folks have since died within the pro-Russian insurgency in japanese Ukraine.

RELATED STORY:

US, Russia maintain high-stakes talks on Ukraine warfare fears

JPV

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