US intelligence officials have determined a Russian effort is underway to initiate the Ukraine invasion and create a pretext for its troops to further invade Ukraine, and Moscow has already prepositioned operatives to conduct “a false-flag operation” in eastern Ukraine, according to the White House.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday the intelligence findings show Russia is also laying the groundwork for the Ukraine invasion through a social media disinformation campaign that frames Ukraine as an aggressor that has been preparing an attack against Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.
Psaki Talked About The Ukraine Invasion
Psaki added that Russia had already dispatched operatives who can carry out acts of sabotage against Russia’s own proxy forces and blame it on Ukraine if President Putin decides that he wants to move forward with a Ukraine invasion.
“We are concerned that the Russian government is preparing for an invasion in Ukraine that may result in widespread human rights violations and war crimes should diplomacy fail to meet their objectives,” Psaki said.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby described the intelligence as “very credible.” A U.S. official, who was not authorized to comment on the intelligence and spoke on condition of anonymity, said much of it was gleaned from intercepted communications and observations of the movements of people.
The US findings were later declassified and shared with its allies before it was made public. It is estimated that the military Ukraine invasion can begin sometime between January and mid-February.
The new U.S. intelligence was unveiled after a series of talks between Russia and the U.S. and its Western allies this week in Europe aimed at heading off the escalating crisis made little progress.