News ID: 319423
Published: 0350 GMT January 15, 2022

US claims Russia planning ‘false-flag’ operation to justify Ukraine invasion

US claims Russia planning ‘false-flag’ operation to justify Ukraine invasion

The United States alleged Russia had already positioned saboteurs in Ukraine to carry out a “false flag” operation to be use as a pretext for an invasion, which Washington claimed could begin in the coming month.

The allegations came on the same day as a large-scale cyber-attack on Ukrainian government websites, and amid new reports of Russian military hardware on the move from the far east heading westwards, the Guardian reported.

The incidents follow a week of failed diplomacy with abortive talks in Geneva, Brussels and Vienna, which did nothing to defuse the crisis over Ukraine.

“We have information that indicates Russia has already pre-positioned a group of operatives to conduct a false flag operation in eastern Ukraine,” Jen Psaki, the White House spokeswoman, said. “The operatives are trained in urban warfare and using explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russia’s own proxy forces.”

The allegation was echoed by the Pentagon spokesman, John Kirby, who said that Russia was preparing “an operation designed to look like an attack on ... Russian-speaking people in Ukraine, again as an excuse to go in.”

The Kremlin has demanded an assurance Ukraine and Georgia will never join NATO. It wants NATO to remove troops and equipment from its member states in eastern Europe, and to return deployment to 1997 levels, before NATO expanded.

On Friday Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said Moscow would not wait indefinitely for a response. “We have run out of patience,” he said at a news conference. “The west has been driven by hubris and has exacerbated tensions in violation of its obligations and common sense.”



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