The Pentagon claims it has credible intelligence that the Russian government is preparing a false flag operation to justify its invasion of Ukraine as it did in 2014 when it annexed the territory of Crimea.
“We have information that indicates Russia has already pre-positioned a group of operatives to conduct a false flag operation in eastern Ukraine,” said Jen Psaki, the White House spokeswoman, this Friday, Jan. 14. The operatives are trained in urban warfare and using explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russia’s own proxy forces.”
According to the Daily Mail, John Kirby, the U.S. defense ministry spokesman, assured that the intelligence information ‘was very credible.’
For his part, the national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, detailed in a press conference:
“Our intelligence community has developed information which has now been downgraded, that Russia is laying the groundwork to have the option of fabricating a pretext for an invasion, including through sabotage activities and information operations, by accusing Ukraine of preparing an imminent attack against Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine.”
In addition, Ukrainian foreign ministry sources reported on Thursday that several government servers were hacked with threatening messages.
Although the origin of the cyberattack has not been confirmed, English-language media point to the Russians:
“Russian hackers were believed to have left chilling messages on websites saying: ‘Ukrainians. Be afraid and expect worse. It’s your past, present and future,” says the Daily Mail report.
The statements by Biden administration officials come at a time when diplomatic talks and attempts to de-escalate tensions between Russia, Ukraine, and their allies, appear to have failed.
Putin sought assurances that NATO forces would not advance further and said that the troops Russia amassed on the Ukrainian border were in response to the NATO advance.
In addition, at diplomatic meetings, the Kremlin requested that Ukraine be denied possible NATO membership.
Both demands were rejected.
False flags are considered to be those operations intended to create a conflict and blame another party to trigger a response that would theoretically benefit whoever carried out the false operation.
The United States and the European bloc accused the Russian government of carrying out a false flag in 2014 when the Russian army invaded Crimea and annexed the territory.
But Putin claims that Ukraine is part of Russia, that it was taken from them with the fall of the Soviet Union, and that many people in Ukraine still see themselves as Russians and are mistreated by Ukrainians; supposedly that is why they invaded Crimea because many there ‘wanted to be part of Russia.’
The Russian government came out to deny the allegations of a possible false flag to invade Ukraine.
“So far, all these statements have been unsubstantiated and not backed up by anything,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the TASS news agency.
According to a report by R.T., a Russian state-run media:
“Washington has accused Moscow of planning to invade Ukraine for weeks now, though the Kremlin rejected this as “fake news.” Similar warnings have been publicized in U.S. media every year since 2015, always based on anonymous sources, and have never come to pass.”
For the Kremlin, Ukraine and NATO seek military conflict and claim that Ukrainian armies and NATO forces have violated the ceasefire guaranteed by the Minsk agreements.