US Embassy comments on Russian plans to fabricate pretext for invasion
Possible Russian claims of a Ukrainian attack on Russian assets will be met with skepticism from the international community, U.S. Chargé d'Affaires a.i. Kristina Kvien said during the Pravo Na Vladu (“Right to Power”) panel show on the Ukrainian 1+1 TV channel on Feb. 3.
She was commenting on a story published earlier that day by the Washington Post daily newspaper, which reported that the (U.S. President Joe) Biden administration had learned that Moscow is considering filming a fake attack against Russian-held territory or Russian-speaking people by Ukrainian forces, as a pretext to further its invasion of Ukraine.
“The entire international community will be skeptical of any claims from Russia that these attacks were instigated or carried out by Ukraine,” Kvien noted, pointing out that many world leaders are aware of the Russian proclivity to spread disinformation.
“But it seems to me that now it will be very difficult for Russia to pull off one of these operations that they have already done in the past,” she said.
According to The New York Times, Russia intended to use this video to accuse Ukraine of genocide against Russian-speakers, and then use outrage over the video to justify an attack, or have Russian puppet leaders in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine invite a Russian intervention.
The CNN TV channel also reported that Russia has been preparing to “fabricate a pretext for an invasion” of Ukraine by creating “a very graphic propaganda video” that would depict a fake attack by Ukraine against Russia.
A senior administration official told CNN that the video could include images of Bayraktar drones, which NATO ally Turkey has provided to Ukraine, “as a means to implicate NATO in the attack.”
The Biden administration later stated that it believed this intelligence to be genuine.
Russia has repeatedly spread disinformation about Ukraine, including several propaganda videos of this type, to dirty Ukraine’s reputation - including staged ‘executions’, fake claims of artillery shelling against civilian populations, and fabricated stories of ethnic persecution.
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