Russia is laying the groundwork for the possibility of fabricating a pretext for an invasion, including through acts of sabotage and information operations, by accusing Ukraine of planning an imminent attack on Russian forces in eastern ukraine, said a senior US official, detailing the information available to Washington.
The Russian military plans to begin these activities several weeks before a military invasion, which could begin between mid-January and mid-February, he warned, believing that such an attack could be accompanied by
widespread human rights violations and war crimes if diplomacy fails.
The detailed accusations come after a series of high-level meetings between Westerners and Russians this week failed to defuse the risk of a new conflict in Ukraine.
The US government has been warning for several weeks against the possibility that Moscow, which it accuses of having deployed nearly 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border for a potential offensive, would first create a
pretext to take action.
President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said so again Thursday to the press, promising details of the findings of US intelligence – while making it clear that the latter believed the Kremlin had not yet taken a final decision on a possible attack.
” We saw this strategy in action in 2014 [lorsque la Russie a annexé la Crimée ukrainienne], they prepare this strategy again. »
According to the senior official who provided the most detailed details to date on Friday, Washington
has information indicating that Russia has already pre-positioned a group of agents to carry out false flag operations in eastern Ukraine.
These agents are trained in urban guerrilla warfare and the use of explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russian allied forces., posing as Ukrainians, he added.
Our information also indicates that Russian opinion leaders have already started to create Ukrainian provocations in public media and social networks to justify Russian intervention and sow division in Ukraine., the official continued.
By way of example, he referred to an increase in language elements on an alleged
deterioration of the human rights situation in Ukraine and on a
increased militancy of Ukrainian leaders.
These elements of language also attribute to the West the responsibility for the escalation of tensions and
promote Russian patriotism to encourage national support for military action, he said.
According to US intelligence, posts in Russian about these items on social media rose to about 3,500 posts per day in December, or% compared to the November daily average”,”text”:”a 200% increase compared to the November daily average”}}’>an increase of 200% compared to the daily average of November.