White Dwelling Says Russia Is Planning ‘Wrong Flag’ Operation as Pretext for Invading Ukraine

White Dwelling Says Russia Is Planning ‘Wrong Flag’ Operation as Pretext for Invading Ukraine


WASHINGTON—Russia has deployed operatives to undertake a “false flag” operation in jap Ukraine that will maybe fabricate a pretext for invading the nation, the White Dwelling stated Friday, warning it saw indicators an invasion would possibly attain in a topic of weeks.

“The operatives are educated in urban warfare and in utilizing explosives to create acts of sabotage in opposition to Russia’s proxy forces,” White Dwelling press secretary

Jen Psaki

stated on the White Dwelling.

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Ms. Psaki’s commentary came after the U.S. and its European allies concluded a week of finally fruitless diplomacy with Russia geared toward easing tensions in Ukraine. Russia has deployed more than 100,000 troops along the border with Ukraine and has been transferring tanks, infantry battling autos, rocket launchers and diversified protection force instruments westward from their bases in its A ways East, in step with U.S. officials and social-media experiences.

The movements of troops and materiel be pleased prompted fears in the U.S. and the West that the Kremlin intends to invade, or that Russian President Vladimir Putin is generating a disaster to extract security concessions from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The Russian Embassy in Washington didn’t answer to a seek data from for comment. Russian officials be pleased denied the nation intends to invade Ukraine and stated the troops are shut to the border on workout routines. Russia says it has the beautiful to pass troops about by itself territory.

A Ukrainian Navy Forces serviceman on the front line with Russia-backed separatists in the Donetsk pronounce on Tuesday.


anatolii stepanov/Agence France-Presse/Getty Photos

In Washington on Friday, Ms. Psaki stated Russian officials and “affect actors” had sought to spread misinformation about Ukraine to support home Russian enhance for cover force motion there.

“These media narratives also blame the West for escalating stress, highlight humanitarian points in Ukraine that Russian intervention would possibly solve and promote Russian patriotism to support home enhance for cover force motion,” she stated, reporting a 200% lengthen in the day-to-day moderate of Russian-language state material on such narratives from November to December.

She and diversified White Dwelling officials be pleased pointed to Russia’s 2014 invasion and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and its fomenting of a separatist war in jap Ukraine, warning they are seeing the identical indicators of drawing near warfare.

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How can also silent the U.S. answer to Russia’s protection force manufacture-up on the Ukraine border?

“We’ve considered this earlier than, we saw this earlier than main up to 2014…including sabotage actions and data operations,” she stated. “And the Russian protection force plans to delivery out these actions several weeks earlier than a protection force invasion, which would possibly delivery between mid-January and mid-February.”

The White Dwelling’s announcement follows a week of diplomatic engagements that be pleased done exiguous to defuse tensions. Russian International Minister

Sergei Lavrov

warned Friday that Moscow used to be running out of persistence with the U.S. and pressed Washington for a response to its requires that the West dwell encroaching on what the Kremlin views as its aged sphere of affect. Western countries be pleased characterised Russia’s requires as nonstarters.

On Monday, U.S. and Russian officials held bilateral security talks in Geneva, but either side stated the discussions had did now not narrow the gap between the perimeters.

A protection force buildup along the Ukrainian border is extra straining ties between Russia and the U.S., after clashes over cybercrime, expulsions of diplomats and a migrant disaster in Belarus. WSJ explains what’s deepening the rift between Washington and Moscow. Describe Composite/Video: Michelle Inez Simon

Two days later, NATO and Russia held their first talks since 2019, with Moscow persevering with to set a matter to that the alliance scale lend a hand protection force actions in worn Soviet states and assure membership to Ukraine and Georgia, which Russia considers a part of its sphere of affect. NATO members be pleased roundly rejected these requires.

Then on Thursday, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which counts the U.S., Ukraine and Russia among its 57 members, met to talk referring to the hiss. Russian Deputy International Minister

Sergei Ryabkov

stated talks had stalled and raised the specter of a protection force deployment to Venezuela or Cuba, a prospect Mr. Sullivan characterised as “bluster” but which he stated the U.S. would address “decisively.”

Mr. Sullivan stated Thursday that U.S. and European officials would confer on the path forward, but that possibilities for additonal discussions with Russia had been unclear.

Write to Andrew Restuccia at andrew.restuccia@wsj.com and Courtney McBride at courtney.mcbride@wsj.com

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