“These agents are trained in urban guerrilla warfare and the use of explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russian-allied forces” pretending to be Ukrainians, says Washington.
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The charge is heavy. The United States reproached Russia on Friday January 14 for having “prepositioned” agents in Ukraine to conduct an operation that could serve as “pretext for an invasion” by forces from Moscow. “Russia is laying the groundwork for the possibility of fabricating a pretext for an invasion, including through acts of sabotage and information operations, by accusing Ukraine of planning an imminent attack on Russian forces in eastern Ukraine”, said a senior US official, detailing the information available to Washington.
The US government has been warning for several weeks against the possibility that Moscow, which it accuses of having deployed nearly 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border for a potential offensive, would first create a “pretext” to take action.
President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said so again on Thursday to the press, promising details of the findings of US intelligence – while specifying that the latter believed that the Kremlin had not yet taken a final decision on a possible attack. “We saw this strategy at work in 2014”, when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine, “they are preparing this strategy again”, warned Jake Sullivan.
According to the senior official who provided details on Friday, Washington “has information indicating that Russia has already pre-positioned a group of operatives to conduct false flag operations in eastern Ukraine.” “These agents are trained in urban guerrilla warfare and the use of explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russian-allied forces”, posing as Ukrainians, he added.