U.S. officials have said Russia is planning to produce fake videos of Ukrainian forces attacking Russian territory or the Russian-speaking population in eastern Ukraine. About it informs The New York Times, citing senior US administration officials. Similar information leads The Washington Post.
According to the sources of the publication, the United States received intelligence about a plan developed in Russia to fabricate a pretext for an invasion of Ukraine, falsely accusing the Ukrainian Armed Forces of an attack that allegedly caused casualties not only in eastern Ukraine, but also in Russia. To do this, it is planned to shoot a staged video with a staging of an attack either on Russian territory or on the Russian-speaking population in eastern Ukraine.
According to people informed about the intelligence materials, the plan was approved in Moscow at a high level. Information about the plan was declassified by American intelligence – with the help of publicity, the United States hopes to disrupt its implementation.
With the help of the video, Russia, according to officials, intended to accuse Ukraine of “genocide” of the Russian-speaking population. She would then use that message to justify an invasion or to have separatist leaders in Donbass in eastern Ukraine ask for Russian military forces.
The video is planned to show images of civilian casualties in eastern Ukraine and possibly even Russian territory near the border to a wide audience. This should cause outrage against the Ukrainian authorities and serve as a pretext for an invasion.
The planned video was carefully crafted, officials said, including candid images of a staged aftermath of the blast with many dead bodies, footage of the devastation, display of fake Ukrainian military equipment and Turkish-made drones, and actors playing Russian-speaking people mourning the dead. One source noted that it was not clear if the victims were real or fake.
Officials did not disclose direct evidence regarding the Russian plan or explain how they learned about it, so as not to reveal their sources and methods.
Last month, the US administration declaredthat operational officers were sent from the Russian Federation to eastern Ukraine, possibly to prepare sabotage.