“There is information that Russia has already pre-deployed a group of agents to carry out a false flag operation in eastern Ukraine,” Pusaki told reporters.
“Operators are trained to use urban warfare and explosives to perform sabotage against Russia’s own surrogate forces.”
Russia quickly denied the account, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the US statement “unfounded.”
However, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the information was “very reliable” and the classification was downgraded to make it publicly available.
He said Russian agents could include intelligence agencies, military elements, and other security agencies.
“They often mate their personnel to the extent that the lines are not always really clear,” Kirby told reporters.
Rise in disinformation
As Ukraine was hit by a massive cyberattack, NATO has vowed to strengthen its cooperation with Kiev for online security.
Mr Saki said the United States was “concerned” about the attack, but said Russia could not be blamed and it is not yet known who should be held responsible.
Russia said it has stepped up disinformation campaigns on social media, including posts accusing Ukraine of infringement and accusing the West of causing tensions, alongside preparing for a false flag operation, Saki said.
“Our information also shows that influential Russian actors are beginning to create Ukrainian provocations on national and social media to justify Russia’s intervention and disperse the division in Ukraine. “She said.
The United States has repeatedly accused Russia of spreading plots and disinformation on social media.
Psaki said Russian justification for Moscow’s story about Ukraine on social media increased by 200% in December to about 3,500 posts per day.
In a briefing to reporters, Sullivan said he used similar tactics in 2014 when Russia occupied the Crimean Peninsula and boosted an ongoing rebellion in eastern Ukraine.
“We saw this playbook in 2014. They are preparing this playbook again,” Sullivan said.
The United States released its findings on the alleged false flag operation after a week of talks with Russia to ease tensions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin denied plans to invade Ukraine, but demanded security from the West, including a promise not to expand NATO to the east.
Sullivan said Thursday that the United States prefers diplomacy but is prepared to “defend” its allies and impose significant economic costs on Russia if it invades.
Russia increased pressure on Ukraine in 2014 after an uprising overthrew a government that refused pressure to bring the country closer to the west.
Since then, more than 13,000 people have died in the pro-Russian rebellion in eastern Ukraine.
The United States claims Russia is preparing for a “false flag” operation to invade Ukraine
Source link The United States claims Russia is preparing for a “false flag” operation to invade Ukraine