The United States accused Russia this Friday (01.14.2022) of “actively working” to create a pretext to invade or enter Ukraine. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told a news conference that they have information that Russia has positioned a group of troops to orchestrate an operation to create a pretext to enter Ukrainian soil.
Kirby indicated that this alleged Russian operation would be what is called in US military jargon a “false flag” attack, that is, an operation “designed to look like an attack against them (the Russians) or their people, or people who speaks Russian in Ukraine, as an excuse to enter” Ukraine.
Concern in the White House
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the United States is concerned that the Russian government “is preparing for an invasion of Ukraine, which may result in widespread human rights violations and crimes. of war if diplomacy fails to meet its objectives.
“As part of its plans, Russia is laying the groundwork for the option of fabricating a pretext for the invasion, including through sabotage activities or information operations, accusing Ukraine of preparing an imminent attack on Russian forces,” Psaki said. The Russian military “plans to start these activities several weeks before a military invasion, which could start between mid-January and mid-February,” he said.
“Echoes of what they did in 2014”
According to the Pentagon spokesman, Washington has indications that “actors of Russian influence” have begun to spread false provocations by Ukraine, both in state media and on social networks to “try to justify in advance some pretext for an incursion”. The number of messages on social networks in Russian with this type of content multiplied by three in December, recalling the moments before the annexation of Crimea. “We see what they’re doing…and there are echoes of what they did in 2014,” Kirby added.
To a question from journalists about whether Russian President Vladimir Putin was aware of these maneuvers, the US spokesman said that “it is difficult for this type of activity to be carried out without the knowledge, or without the approval of the highest levels senior members of the Russian government”. Despite this, Kirby pointed out that Washington does not believe that Putin has already made the decision to attack Ukraine and expressed the desire of the US Executive that “diplomacy prevail”.