Thursday, January 27, 2022

White House: Russia making excuse to attack Ukraine


Amer Madani, Noman Merchant and Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press

Published Friday, January 14, 2022 3:59 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) – US intelligence officials have determined Russian Efforts are on to make excuses for its soldiers to attack more Ukraineand Moscow has already prepared operatives to conduct a “false-flag operation” in the eastern Ukraineaccording to the White House.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that intelligence shows Russia is also laying the groundwork through a social media propaganda campaign that frames Ukraine as an attacker who is preparing for an imminent attack RussiaN-backed forces in the east Ukraine,

Saki alleged that Russia already dispatched operatives trained in urban warfare who can use explosives to carry out acts of sabotage Russiaof its own proxy powers – blaming acts Ukraine – If Russian President Vladimir Putin decided that he wanted to proceed with an invasion.

“We are concerned that Russian the government is preparing to attack Ukraine This can result in widespread human rights violations and war crimes if diplomacy fails to meet its objectives,” said Saki.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby described the intelligence as “very credible”. A US official, who was not authorized to comment on the intelligence and spoke on condition of anonymity, said much of it was derived from intercepted communications and observations of people’s movements.

US intelligence findings, which were declassified and shared with US allies before being made public, predict a military offensive could begin between mid-January and mid-February.

Ukraine is also monitoring the potential use of propaganda by RussiaSeparately, Ukrainian media reported on Friday that officials believe Russian special services were planning the occurrence of possible false flags to provoke additional conflict.

The new US intelligence was unveiled after a series of talks between Russia And the US and its Western allies this week made little progress in tackling the escalating crisis in Europe.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Thursday that the US intelligence community did not assess Russians, who have massed about 100,000 soldiers UkraineThe border has definitely decided to take military action.

But Sullivan said Russia Should Putin decide to go down that path, it is laying the groundwork to attack under false pretenses. He said RussiaThe NS is planning “sabotage activities and information operations” which allege Ukraine to prepare for his own impending attack against Russian army in the east Ukraine,

He said that this is what the Kremlin led Russia2014 annexation of Crimea, Black Sea peninsula under which UkraineJurisdiction since 1954.

Crimea crisis came at a time when Ukraine Wanted to strengthen relations with the West. Russia preached that Ukraineethnic of RussiaNS was being tortured in the East Ukraine,

Russia It has long been accused of using propaganda as a tactic against adversaries in combination with military operations and cyber attacks. in 2014, RussiaAccording to a report by Stanford University’s Internet Observatory, state media tried to discredit the pro-Western protests in Kiev as “provoked by the US in collaboration with fascist Ukrainian nationalists” and about Crimea’s historical ties with Moscow. stories encouraged.

Efforts to directly influence Ukrainians continued during the ongoing conflict in the East. Ukrainein which at least 14,000 people have died. The Associated Press reported in 2017 that in the past the Ukrainian military had been receiving frequent text messages that they would be killed and that their children would be orphaned.

Nina Jankowicz, Global Fellow of the Wilson Center in Washington, said RussiaIts propaganda efforts have developed on Crimea between its annexation and now. This time, the anti-Kremlin is drivingUkraine “How to Lose the Information War: How to Lose the Information War: RussiaFake News, and the Future of Conflict.”

“The officials are setting the tone for the state media and they are just going through with it,” she said.

So-called “troll farms” that post fake comments are less effective because social media companies have gotten better at stopping them, she said. RussiaEfforts on social media often play on existing doubts in Ukrainian society as to whether the US will support Ukraine In a conflict whether the West can be trusted, she said.

The US intelligence community has noticed a buildup on social media Russian influencers justify intervention by emphasizing the deterioration of human rights Ukrainesuggesting the rising extremism of Ukrainian leaders and blaming the West for the escalating tensions.

“We looked at this playbook in 2014,” Sullivan told reporters on Thursday. “They are redrawing this playbook.”

Russians, while maintaining they don’t plan to invade Ukrainedemanding that the US and NATO provide written guarantees that the alliance will not expand eastward. The US has called such demands “uninitialized” but said it is open to talks with Moscow about a possible future deployment of offensive missiles. Ukraine and limiting US and NATO military exercises in Eastern Europe.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned on Friday that Moscow would not wait indefinitely for a Western response, saying he expected the US and NATO to give a written reply next week.

Lavrov describes Moscow’s demands for binding guarantees that NATO will not embrace Ukraine or any other former Soviet nation, or station its forces and weapons there as necessary to the progress of diplomatic efforts to defuse escalating tensions. Ukraine,

He argued that NATO deployment and exercises are near RussiaBorders present a security challenge that must be addressed immediately.

“We have run out of patience,” Lavrov told a news conference. “The West is driven by pride and heightened tension in violation of its obligations and common sense.”

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Isachenkov reported from Moscow. AP national security writer Robert Burns contributed reporting.

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