The Pentagon mentioned Thursday it had proof of a plan by Moscow to movie a faux Ukrainian assault on Russians to justify an actual assault on its pro-West neighbor.
“We do have info that the Russians are prone to need to fabricate a pretext for an invasion,” mentioned Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby.
He advised reporters that Washington believed the Russian authorities plans to stage an assault by the Ukraine army or intelligence forces “towards Russian sovereign territory, or towards Russian talking folks.”
The latter might discuss with the sizeable Russian-speaking inhabitants inside Ukraine.
“As a part of this faux assault, we imagine that Russia would produce a really graphic propaganda video, which would come with corpses and actors that may be depicting mourners and pictures of destroyed areas,” he mentioned.
That would permit Moscow, which has amassed greater than 100,000 troops and heavy offensive arms on Ukraine’s border, with an excuse for invading.
– Query of proof –
Neither Kirby nor State Division Spokesperson Ned Worth, who additionally commented on the alleged plan, supplied proof to again the declare.
Kirby mentioned a part of the plan can be to make the Ukrainian army tools utilized in it look like provided by the West, he mentioned, additional justifying Russian reprisals towards Ukraine.
“We have seen these sorts of exercise by the Russians prior to now and we imagine it is necessary after we see it like this that we are able to name it out,” Kirby mentioned.
“I might simply say that our expertise is that little or no of this nature is just not authorized on the highest ranges of the Russian authorities,” Kirby mentioned concerning the purported plan.
Worth mentioned the alleged plan is “one in every of various choices that the Russian authorities is creating as a faux pretext to provoke and doubtlessly justify army aggression towards Ukraine.”
He mentioned the US didn’t know if Moscow has determined to undergo with the plan.
“Russia has signaled it is keen to proceed diplomatic talks as a way to de-escalate, however actions similar to these suggests in any other case,” Worth mentioned.
Pressed on whether or not there was proof of such a plan, Worth mentioned it got here from US intelligence, however supplied no extra particulars.
“I am not going to spell out what’s in our possession however I’ll depart that to your judgement,” he advised reporters.
British International Secretary Liz Truss known as the US declare of Moscow’s false flag operations “clear and surprising proof of Russia’s unprovoked aggression and underhand exercise to destabilize Ukraine.”
“The one means ahead is for Russia to de-escalate, desist and decide to a diplomatic pathway,” she mentioned in a tweeted assertion.