US has intelligence Putin will stage a ‘false flag’ attack on his troops as a pretext to invade


The US has intelligence that Russia is planning a ‘false-flag’ operation on its personal forces in jap Ukraine to create a pretext for invasion.

Officers on Friday furthermore stated they believed Russia was mounting a social media disinformation promoting and advertising and marketing advertising and marketing marketing campaign to painting Ukraine as the aggressor.  

The change, making the prospect of navy battle further speedy, obtained proper right here as Ukrainian authorities internet pages had been taken offline in a ‘large’ cyberattack, talks between Washington and Moscow collapsed and Russia held a fight readiness inspection of their troops.

In the meantime, Russian worldwide minister Sergey Lavrov stated Russia had ‘run out of persistence’ with the West as Moscow demanded assurances that NATO wouldn’t improve nearer to its territory. 

The USA has proof that operatives skilled in metropolis warfare and sabotage will perform these assaults on Russian proxy forces, officers educated journalists on Friday, presumably weeks ahead of an invasion. 

White Home Press Secretary Jen Psaki warned of human rights violations and warfare crimes if diplomacy failed and the Russian authorities went forward with its plans.  

‘We’ve obtained knowledge that signifies Russia has already pre-positioned a group of operatives to conduct a false flag operation in jap Ukraine,’ she stated.

‘The operatives are expert in metropolis warfare and using explosives to carry out acts of sabotage in direction of Russia’s personal proxy forces.’ 

She stated it mimicked the playbook used when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula, and included social media disinformation to present Kyiv as the instigator of violence. 

The Kremlin shortly denied it was preparing a provocation. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated the reporting was based totally on ‘unfounded’ knowledge, in accordance to the TASS information agency.  

Russian tanks of the Novorossiysk Guards mountain formation took half in maneuvers on Friday, additional elevating the temperature alongside the border with Ukraine the place 100,000 Russian troops are massed

A militant of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) observes the area at fighting positions on the line of separation from the Ukrainian armed forces in Donetsk region, Ukraine January 14, 2022.

A militant of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Folks’s Republic (DNR) observes the realm at combating positions on the road of separation from the Ukrainian armed forces in Donetsk house, Ukraine January 14, 2022. 

A Ukrainian Military Forces serviceman walks on a trench on the frontline with Russia-backed separatists near Luganske village, in Donetsk region. Kiev has been on high alert since Russia moved 100,000 troops close to its border last year

A Ukrainian Army Forces serviceman walks on a trench on the frontline with Russia-backed separatists shut to Luganske village, in Donetsk house. Kiev has been on excessive alert since Russia moved 100,000 troops shut to its border closing 12 months

A fighter jet is takes off in footage released by Russia's ministry of defence. Amid concern over Russia's troop buildup, Russia says it is up to Moscow alone where it moves its forces around on its territory and that they pose no external threat

A fighter jet is takes off in footage launched by Russia’s ministry of defence. Amid concern over Russia’s troop buildup, Russia says it’s up to Moscow alone the place it strikes its forces spherical on its territory and that they pose no exterior menace

Moscow has for weeks been massing tens of thousands of troops, tanks and artillery pieces along its eastern flank, sparking fears of an invasion, though the Kremlin has insisted it is merely a defence force (pictured, Russian forces currently massed in border regions)

Moscow has for weeks been massing tens of 1000’s of troops, tanks and artillery devices alongside its jap flank, sparking fears of an invasion, although the Kremlin has insisted it’s merely a defence drive (pictured, Russian forces at present massed in border areas)

Particulars emerged as Russia held snap fight readiness inspections of its troops on Friday and as a number of distinguished Ukrainian authorities internet pages had been taken offline Friday, authorities stated, in a sweeping cyber attack. 

The declare of a false-flag operation echoes Ukraine’s Ministry of Protection, which stated that Russian particular suppliers had been preparing provocations in course of Russian forces so as to physique Ukraine. 

And a day earlier, President Biden’s nationwide safety adviser stated that the U.S. had intelligence that Russia was preparing a pretext for invasion.

‘Our intelligence group has developed data … that Russia is laying the groundwork to have the selection of fabricating a pretext for an invasion, along with by means of sabotage actions and knowledge operations, by accusing Ukraine of constructing prepared an imminent attack in direction of Russian forces in Jap Ukraine,’ he educated reporters on the White Home

‘We observed this playbook in 2014. They’re preparing this playbook as quickly as additional.’

However he furthermore stated officers had not decided that President Vladimir Putin had made a definitive choice to invade, suggesting a diplomatic selection may nonetheless be potential.

Officers try to weigh whether or not or not or not Putin is prepared to act on his need to swallow up Ukraine or whether or not or not or not it’s a feint to strengthen his regional have an impact on. 

In a signal of the tough forces in play, Russia furthermore launched it had detained members of the ransomware group REvil on the request of the USA.

It marked a uncommon second of collaboration at a time when relations are at all-time low.  

‘The investigative measures had been primarily based on a request from the… United States,’ the FSB home intelligence service stated. 

‘… The organised authorized affiliation has ceased to exist and the information infrastructure used for authorized capabilities was neutralised.’

In the meantime, the White Home stated President Biden had been briefed on the cyberattack, which took down a string of Ukrainian authorities internet pages. 

Some displayed messages saying: ‘Be afraid and rely on the worst.’ 

Attack from a number of fronts, an escalation in Donbass or missile strikes: What a Russian invasion of Ukraine might appear to be – as navy analysts concern it’d presumably be imminent 

Western navy analysts have urged Russia can’t defend such troops deployed the place they’re indefinitely for monetary and logistical causes and would wish to pull them as soon as extra by summer season season.

Estimates of the numbers of latest Russian troops moved nearer to Ukraine fluctuate from 60,000 to spherical 100,000, with a U.S. intelligence doc suggesting that quantity may presumably be ramped up to 175,000.

U.S. officers have stated Russia may attack Ukraine as early as this month when the underside will be additional sturdy, making it easier for tanks and completely totally different armour to change swiftly.

At talks this week with the USA and NATO, Russia has sought safety ensures to defuse the disaster.

Overseas Minister Sergei Lavrov stated on Friday Moscow was not prepared to wait ceaselessly for a response and that it needed a detailed written response to each Russian proposal.

However what may a Russian attack appear to be and what might it search to purchase?

‘The current deployments are versatile. They protect Russia’s selections open and subsequently defend the defender guessing,’ stated Keir Giles, an Affiliate Fellow at Chatham Home.

Listed under are some potential situations.


Closely armed Russian-backed separatists have managed a swath of jap Ukraine since 2014 and proceed to change hearth with Ukrainian authorities forces regardless of a 2015 ceasefire that ended main hostilities.

The battle in Donbass has killed 15,000 individuals, Kyiv says. Ukraine has extended accused Russia of getting frequent troops all through the house, one issue Moscow denies.

Russia has accused Kyiv of harbouring plans to retake the world by drive, one issue Ukraine denies.

A militant of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) checks a machine gun at fighting positions on the line of separation from the Ukrainian armed forces near the rebel-controlled settlement of Yasne (Yasnoye) in Donetsk region

A militant of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Folks’s Republic (DNR) checks a machine gun at combating positions on the road of separation from the Ukrainian armed forces shut to the rebel-controlled settlement of Yasne (Yasnoye) in Donetsk house

In such a febrile environment, the hazard of a misunderstanding or unplanned escalation is larger, and Russia might use such an incident as a casus belli.

A present accustomed to the Russian Defence Ministry’s pondering stated this was the larger than seemingly state of affairs if Moscow determined to attack, nonetheless that he was unaware of any such choice. Kyiv may also be provoked into attacking by the separatists who might then ask Russia to ship troops to assist, he stated.

Russian forces might improve the combating in Donbass to draw Ukraine into a typical battle, stated Neil Melvin, director of Worldwide Safety Research on the RUSI think-tank in London. He stated Moscow might strive to seize Ukrainian coastal areas on the Sea of Azov, creating a land bridge from the Russian metropolis of Rostov by the use of Donbass to Crimea, along with: ‘That may put the Ukrainian authorities beneath a lot of pressure.’


Russia has launched in new forces to Crimea, which it annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

Moscow might launch an attack on Ukraine from Crimea and seize territory up to the Dnieper River which will serve as a pure barrier in course of any Ukrainian counter-offensive, stated Konrad Muzyka, director of the Poland-based Rochan consultancy.

The operation might start with artillery, missile and air strikes on Ukrainian fashions all through the south, and particular forces fashions may seize bridges and railway junctions, permitting troops and tanks to advance, he stated. There are solely two roads from Crimea that may presumably be blocked or destroyed, a potential weak spot, he stated.

Forces would protected administration of a canal that supplied Crimea with up to date water provides till Russia annexed the world and Ukraine stopped the movement, he stated.


A publicly obtainable U.S. intelligence doc stated Russia might stage an invasion this month with up to 100 battalion tactical teams (BTGs) or some 175,000 troops. It stated about 50 BTGs had been already in place to the north and east of Ukraine and in Crimea to the south.

Seizing southern Ukraine might cut back Kyiv off from the coast and NATO’s presence all through the Black Sea, Melvin stated, and will play efficiently with Russian nationalists who see the realm as the historic ‘Novorossiya’ lands or ‘New Russia’.

A multi-front assault may also comprise a change into northeastern Ukraine, encircling nonetheless maybe not coming into cities the place forces might get slowed down in metropolis combating. Russian troops might furthermore change into Belarus, opening a northern entrance for Ukraine which will put Russian forces nearer to Kyiv, Giles stated.

‘This in spite of everything could be the most expensive economically, politically and by means of human lives and that’s virtually definitely why it’s least probably,’ Melvin stated of an all-out invasion.

Army analysts stated even when it overwhelmed Ukraine’s military, which is half the scale of its personal, Russia might face guerrilla-type resistance, making it laborious to protect on to captured territory.


Giles stated some situations might comprise long-range missile assaults or cyber-attacks focusing on important infrastructure. Missile assaults would reap the benefits of Ukraine’s weaker anti-missile defences.

‘The completely totally different conditions for a approach exactly Russia could search to persuade the West to meet its (security) requires by punishing Kyiv don’t even primarily embody a land incursion,’ he stated.

A string of presidency internet pages was hacked on Friday. Some confirmed messages saying: ‘Be afraid and rely on the worst.’

The finger of suspicion instantly fell on Russia, though Ukrainian officers stated important infrastructure had not been centered. 

The inspections came as several key Ukrainian government websites were taken offline Friday, authorities said, in a sweeping cyber attack. Pictured: A laptop displays a warning message in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish, that appeared on the official website of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry after a massive cyberattack, in this illustration taken January 14, 2022

The inspections obtained proper right here as a number of key Ukrainian authorities internet pages had been taken offline Friday, authorities stated, in a sweeping cyber attack. Pictured: A laptop computer laptop laptop computer reveals a warning message in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish, that appeared on the official web site on-line of the Ukrainian Overseas Ministry after a massive cyberattack, on this illustration taken January 14, 2022

President Vladimir Putin of Russia

President Joe Biden

President Biden’s administration has repeatedly warned President Putin of additional sanctions if his forces invade Ukraine. In return, Putin is demanding that NATO ensures it will not enable Ukraine to be a a part of the protection alliance

American Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Michael Carpenter said the world was facing a 'crisis in European security' after the final round of talks Thursday

American Ambassador to the Group for Safety and Co-operation in Europe Michael Carpenter stated the world was going by the use of a ‘catastrophe in European security’ after the final phrase spherical of talks Thursday

A Ukrainian worldwide ministry spokesman confirmed particulars of a hack to AFP. 

‘As a outcomes of a large cyberattack, the web pages of the Ministry of Overseas Affairs and a number of totally different authorities companies are rapidly down,’ he stated.

The teaching ministry wrote on Fb that its web site on-line was down due to a ‘worldwide (cyber) attack’ that had taken place in a single day.  

There was no speedy declare of accountability and Kiev didn’t say who may need been accountable. Ukraine had blamed Russians with hyperlinks to the Kremlin for earlier assaults.

About 70 internet pages of nationwide and regional authorities our our our bodies had been centered, in accordance to Victor Zhora, deputy chair of the State Service of Particular Communication and Info Safety. 

He pressured, nonetheless, that no important infrastructure was affected and no personal data was leaked. 

White Home Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated: ‘The USA and our allies and companions are involved with regard to the cyber attack, and the president has been briefed.

‘We’re furthermore concerned with the Ukrainians and have supplied our help as Ukraine investigates the have an effect on and nature, and recovers from the incident.

EU worldwide safety chief Joseph Borrell stated on Friday the bloc was mobilising ‘all its assets’ to assist Ukraine.

In the meantime, Russia stated it was understanding of persistence with its demand that NATO doesn’t improve eastward, nearer to Russia.  

Overseas Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that Moscow wouldn’t wait indefinitely for the Western response, saying he anticipated a answer from the US and NATO subsequent week. 

‘We’ve obtained run out of persistence,’ Lavrov stated at a information convention. 

‘The West has been pushed by hubris and has exacerbated tensions in violation of its obligations and customary sense.’

Pictured: Ukrainian troops take part in military drills as tensions across the country's border with Russia continue to mount

Pictured: Ukrainian troops participate in navy drills as tensions all by way of the nation’s border with Russia proceed to mount

The tensions prompted Sweden to step up its visible defense preparations. Here soldiers patrol in Visby Harbor

The tensions prompted Sweden to step up its seen security preparations. Right right here troopers patrol in Visby Harbor

It comes after a string of conferences between the 2 sides this week that failed to ship a breakthrough. As a consequence, American officers have stepped up their warnings.

The U.S. ambassador to the Group for Safety and Cooperation in Europe stated the consequence was a ‘catastrophe in European security.’ 

‘The drumbeat of warfare is sounding loud and the rhetoric has gotten comparatively shrill,’ Michael Carpenter stated.

That drumbeat has put worldwide areas all through the house on alert. 

Poland warned that Europe confronted its biggest menace of warfare beforehand 30 years.

And a senior navy resolve in Sweden stated Friday that there had been elevated Russian prepare all through the Baltic Sea which ‘deviates from the standard picture.’ 

‘We’ve obtained determined to reposition our troops. It doesn’t have to recommend an elevated menace, nonetheless we on a common foundation need to adapt to the prevailing state of affairs,’ Lt. Gen Leif Michael Claesson educated The Related Press.

Sweden, which isn’t a a a part of NATO, has monitored touchdown craft from Russia’s northern navy coming into the Baltic Sea.

As a consequence, Claesson who’s the operations supervisor on the Swedish Armed Forces, stated the nation had raised its diploma of preparedness. Among the measures taken may very well be seen and others wouldn’t, he added.

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