Politics

U.S. intelligence says Russia has prepared a ‘false-flag’ operation to invade Ukraine

Russia is plotting to stage acts of provocation to create a pretext to invade Ukraine, a US official has said.

“The Russian military plans to begin these activities several weeks before a military invasion, which could begin between mid-January and mid-February,” the official said. “We saw this playbook in 2014 with Crimea.”

A Pentagon spokesman said Russian operatives were planning a “false-flag” operation, to allow Moscow to accuse Ukraine of preparing an attack. Russia has dismissed the claims.

“We do have information that indicates that Russia is already working actively to create a pretext for a potential invasion, for a move on Ukraine,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told reporters on Friday.

Kirby’s comments came shortly after the plans for the operation were confirmed by a U.S. official, who said the US was laying the groundwork for accusing Ukraine of preparing an “imminent attack” against Russian forces.

The accusation comes after a week of US-Russian talks aimed at defusing tensions. Russia has stationed thousands of soldiers close to Ukraine’s border. This has sparked fears that Russia may invade Ukraine.

The US official’s remarks follow an earlier statement by US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, who told reporters about intelligence that Russia was laying the groundwork to try to fabricate a pretext for invading Ukraine. “We saw this playbook in 2014. They are preparing this playbook again,” Sullivan said.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense also released a statement on Friday accusing Russia of plotting to provoke its own forces and place the blame on Kyiv, adding “the military units of the aggressor country and its client states receive orders to prepare for such provocations.”

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: LA TIMES

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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