The US believes Russia is planning to stage a fake attack by Ukrainian forces on Russia territory or Russian-speaking people to justify their actions near Ukraine’s border, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Thursday.
“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 at the hands of Ukraine or the West,” Kirby told reporters during a news conference.
“And we do have information that it is — that the Russians are likely to want to fabricate a pretext for an invasion, which again, is right out of their playbook,” he added.
Read more: Russia blames US for generating tensions in Ukraine
The New York Times reported earlier that the US obtained intelligence about a Russian plan to spread a fake video to bolster its disinformation campaigns.
According to senior administration officials and others briefed on the material, the video “was intended to be elaborate with plans for graphic images of the staged, corpse-strewn aftermath of an explosion and footage of destroyed locations,” the Times said.
It’s unclear if Russia has actually made a fake video to justify an attack on Ukraine. Sounds like US just warning it’s a possible tactic. Kirby said a fake video “would be made” and a sr administration official told me “we know it’s a proposal for their consideration.”
— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) February 3, 2022
The officials also said the video was also set to include faked Ukrainian military equipment, Turkish-made drones and actors playing Russian-speaking mourners.
Ukraine and Russia have been locked in conflict since hostilities in the eastern Donbas region broke out in 2014 after Russia illegally annexed the Crimean Peninsula.
Russia has reportedly amassed tens of thousands of troops near Ukraine’s border, prompting fears that the Kremlin could be planning another military offensive against its former Soviet republic.
Read more: Biden deploys 3,000 U.S. troops to counter Russia
Moscow has denied it is preparing to invade, saying its troops are there for exercises.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk