The Pentagon has accused Russia of planning an elaborate hoax as a pretext to invade Ukraine.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Washington has credible intelligence about an elaborate Russian plot amid heightened tensions.
“We believe that Russia would produce a very graphic propaganda video, which would include corpses and actors that would be depicting mourners and images of destroyed locations, as well as military equipment at the hands of Ukraine or the West, even to the point where some of this equipment would be made to look like it was Western-supplied,” Kirby told reporters during a Pentagon press briefing.
U.S. intelligence agencies believe Russia has formed a plan to fabricate a pretext for an invasion of Ukraine, potentially by producing propaganda videos showing a staged attack, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said https://t.co/DlTjy6ZNLF pic.twitter.com/40xzgQ45qi
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 4, 2022
The alleged plans for a fake attack on Russian territory or Russian citizens have been shared with Ukrainian officials and European allies in recent days.
It is the latest allegation by the US and the United Kingdom that Russia is plotting to use a false pretext to go to war against Ukraine.
“We’ve seen these kinds of activity by the Russians in the past, and we believe it’s important when we see it like this, and when we can, to call it out,” Kirby told reporters.
UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the US intelligence “is clear and shocking evidence of Russia’s unprovoked aggression and underhand activity to destabilize Ukraine.”
The Kremlin has rejected the accusation it is about to invade Ukraine. It has issued a list of demands, including guaranteeing that Ukraine will never join NATO.
It has also accused the US of stoking “hysteria” over Ukraine and aggravating the situation by sending more troops to eastern Europe.
Responding to Kirby’s allegations, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said: “not to take their [the US’] word for it.”
Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s northern and eastern borders, raising NATO concerns of an invasion — something Moscow has denied.
NATO has warned that Moscow’s military buildup continues, with more troops and military equipment deployed to neighboring Belarus than at any time in the last 30 years.