U.S. Says New Intelligence Shows Russian Plans To Create Pretext For Invading Ukraine

The United States has obtained intelligence indicating that Russia has formed a plan to stage a false attack, which would serve as justification for an invasion of Ukraine, according to the U.S. State Department and U.S. officials quoted in news reports on February 3.

The officials said the plan was revealed in declassified intelligence shared with Ukrainian officials and European allies in recent days.

The plan potentially included videos showing a staged attack depicting the graphic aftermath of an explosion, including equipment appearing to belong to Ukraine or allied nations, said an unidentified official.

“This video, if released, could provide Putin the spark he needs to initiate and justify military operations against Ukraine,” the official said. This would include the possibility of having separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine invite a Russian intervention.