The US is aware that the Russian government is planning a "false flag" operation to counter Ukraine's attacks, a government official said on Friday.
"We have information that Russia has already set up a task force to carry out a false campaign in eastern Ukraine.
Russia prepares to use 'false flag' as an excuse to attack Ukraine, Intel U.S. raises
"Our data also shows that Russian-influenced actors have begun to lie in Ukraine on social media and in order to justify Russia's intervention and sow discord in Ukraine," the official said. "For example, Russian officials and influential actors have highlighted issues related to the collapse of human rights in Ukraine and the escalating military presence of Ukrainian leaders."
It is not uncommon for the US government to release intelligence information publicly in real time, especially with regard to a high target target such as Russia, the U.S. enemy. This unusual revelation came as Biden's management sought to overthrow Russia's tactics, which during the previous negotiations concealed the facts and made it even more difficult for the US and its allies to sue Moscow.
For weeks now, as concerns grow over Russia's possible attack, US national security officials have publicly warned that Russia may spread false information about ongoing efforts to consolidate water and try to create a border between the US and its NATO and Europe. friends.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in her daily press conference that intelligence was showing that Russia "was laying the groundwork for an opportunity to make excuses for the attack."
Psaki added that the Russians seemed to be following the playbook they used when they ruled Crimea.
"We have seen this before, leading up to 2014, to be aware - of destructive activities and intelligence activities, of blaming Ukraine for preparing for an imminent attack against Russian forces," Psaki said. He added that Russia's current attack "could lead to widespread human rights abuses and war crimes if negotiations fail to meet their targets."
The comments came just hours after Ukraine was hit by an online attack warning its citizens that they were "expecting the worst." A spokesman for Ukraine's Foreign Ministry told Reuters it was too early to say who could be responsible for the attack, but said Russia had had similar strikes before.
Psaki said President Joe Biden was notified of the attack, adding that the US "has given us our support as Ukraine investigates the impact and is recovering from the incidents."
Russia has mobilized more than 100,000 troops across its border. The Russian government has denied any plans to attack Ukraine, but has released photos of several troops deployed in the area on Friday. Russian officials met with US, European and NATO counterparts last week as they sought to defuse tensions between the two countries. But after those talks, Biden officials said they believed Russia's entry into Ukraine was still possible.
"The drum of war is very loud," said a U.S. ambassador to the United States.
Biden officials consider arming Ukrainian terrorists, who would actually be fighting a terrorist war with Russian troops, when Russia invades Ukraine, a U.S. official and a U.S. official confirmed to NBC News. Such a move could be in addition to the ongoing commitment of the authorities to supply weapons to the Ukrainian government.
Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said this week at a State of the Nation address that "this year alone we have provided Ukraine with $ 450 million in risky support for all categories."
Andriy Yermak, the chief of staff at the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaking at a forum organized by the Atlantic Council said they still hoped to reach a decision on the officials. He said Zelenskyy had spoken to Biden about possible three-way talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"We are still waiting for a response to what I think is on the Russian side," Yermak said. "But our American counterparts took some interest in our proposal."
A White House official told NBC News that Biden's management was "consulting with partners and allies, including Ukraine, to find out the next steps, and to contact Russia."