Russia Plans 'Graphic' Video of Fake Ukrainian Attack: US

Staging could include actors and corpses, though Pentagon doesn't release proof
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2022 3:45 PM CST
Russia Plans 'Graphic' Video of Fake Ukrainian Attack: US
Signs warn of minefields Thursday near the line that separates the areas controlled by the Ukrainian military from those controlled by pro-Russian separatists in Avdiivka, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine.   (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Russia plans to make a video in which Ukraine appears to be attacking, US officials said Thursday their intelligence shows. The video could be released as a justification for an invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, ABC News reports. The staging could be elaborate. "We believe that Russia would produce a very graphic propaganda video, which would include corpses, and actors that would be depicting mourners, and images of destroyed locations as well as military equipment," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.

A video is just one possibility Russia is considering, US officials said. "But we know that this is an option under consideration," said Jon Finer of the National Security staff. UK officials analyzed the intelligence and came to pretty much the same conclusion. "This is clear and shocking evidence of Russia's unprovoked aggression and underhand activity to destabilize Ukraine," said Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. But State Department spokesman Ned Price repeatedly declined to release information backing up the accusations, per Axios, telling reporters to believe Russia's account if they prefer.

Russia did deny the accusation. "This is not the first such promise," a Kremlin spokesperson said, adding, "But nothing ever occurs." The US last month said Russia was setting up a "false flag" operation in eastern Ukraine that hasn't materialized. US officials said they made Thursday's announcement to make it harder for Russia to carry out the plan. Such a video could purport to show an attack against Russian forces or Russian-speaking people, the Americans said. Bayraktar drones, which Ukraine owns, could be made to look like they're Ukraine's. The video could be released before a Russian invasion, or Russia could hold onto it. (Read more Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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