The Pentagon stated Thursday it had proof of a plan by Moscow to movie a pretend Ukrainian assault on Russians to justify an actual assault on its pro-West neighbor.
“We do have data that the Russians are more likely to wish to fabricate a pretext for an invasion,” stated Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby.
He instructed 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 may confer with the sizeable Russian-speaking inhabitants inside Ukraine.
“As a part of this pretend assault, we imagine that Russia would produce a really graphic propaganda video, which would come with corpses and actors that might be depicting mourners and pictures of destroyed areas,” he stated.
That would enable 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 Value, who additionally commented on the alleged plan, supplied proof to again the declare.
Kirby stated a part of the plan could be to make the Ukrainian army gear utilized in it look like provided by the West, he stated, additional justifying Russian reprisals towards Ukraine.
“We have seen these sorts of exercise by the Russians prior to now and we imagine it is vital after we see it like this that we will name it out,” Kirby stated.
“I might simply say that our expertise is that little or no of this nature isn’t authorised on the highest ranges of the Russian authorities,” Kirby stated in regards to the purported plan.
Value stated the alleged plan is “certainly one of plenty of choices that the Russian authorities is growing as a pretend pretext to provoke and probably justify army aggression towards Ukraine.”
He stated 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 equivalent to these suggests in any other case,” Value stated.
Pressed on whether or not there was proof of such a plan, Value stated 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 instructed reporters.
British Overseas Secretary Liz Truss referred to 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 approach ahead is for Russia to de-escalate, desist and decide to a diplomatic pathway,” she stated in a tweeted assertion.