Ukraine: Russia is preparing for a “false flag operation” in the country after multiplying troops at the border, US warns

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The U.S. shared concerns that Russia could prepare for the possibility of a new military attack to justify an invasion of Ukraine, a government official said.

The websites of the Ukrainian government have received a warning today to “fear and expect the worst”.

Russia has denied involvement, despite now gathering more than 100,000 troops at its neighbor’s borders and posting pictures of more of its forces along the way today.

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Russia is planning operations under a false flag in Ukraine

A U.S. government official now said there were concerns: “Russia has already set up a group of operatives to carry out the operation under a false flag in eastern Ukraine.”

The official said: “The operatives are trained in urban warfare and the use of explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russia’s own authorized forces.

“Our information also shows that Russian influential actors are already starting to fabricate Ukrainian provocations in state and social media to justify Russian intervention and sow divisions in Ukraine.

“Russian officials and influential actors, for example, emphasize tales of the deterioration of human rights in Ukraine and the increased militancy of Ukrainian leaders.”

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily briefing that the intelligence showed that Russia was “laying the groundwork to be able to create a pretext for an invasion.”

Several Ukrainian government websites were affected
image:
The cyber attack affected several Ukrainian government websites

Ms Psaki added that the Russians seem to be following the same methods they used when they took control of Crimea in 2014.

She said: “We saw this before 2014, just to mention – with sabotage activities and information operations, with accusations that Ukraine is preparing an imminent attack on Russian forces.”

She added that Russia’s invasion could now “lead to large-scale human rights violations and war crimes if diplomacy fails to achieve its goals”.

The comments came hours after Ukraine was hit by a massive cyber attack.

A spokesman for Ukraine’s foreign ministry said it was too early to say who might be behind the attack, but that was Russia has been behind similar attacks in the past.

Ms Psaki added that President Joe Biden had been informed of the attack and that the US had “offered our support as Ukraine investigates the consequences and recovers from the incidents”.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov rejected the reports because they were based on “unfounded” information, the TASS news agency reported.

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