White House Says Russia Is Planning ‘False Flag’ Operation as Pretext for Invading Ukraine

WASHINGTON—Russia has deployed operatives to undertake a “false flag” procedure in Japanese Ukraine that would fabricate a pretext for invading the country, the White House stated Friday, warning it observed indicators an invasion could occur in a subject of weeks.

“The operatives are experienced in city warfare and in utilizing explosives to carry out functions of sabotage towards Russia’s proxy forces,” White House press secretary

Jen Psaki

stated at the White House.

Ms. Psaki’s statement arrived immediately after the U.S. and its European allies concluded a week of finally fruitless diplomacy with Russia aimed at easing tensions in Ukraine. Russia has deployed a lot more than one hundred,000 troops together the border with Ukraine and has been shifting tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, rocket launchers and other navy devices westward from their bases in its Considerably East, according to U.S. officials and social-media stories.

The movements of troops and materiel have prompted fears in the U.S. and the West that it intends to invade, or that Russian President

Vladimir Putin

is building a crisis to extract security concessions from the North Atlantic Treaty Corporation.

The Russian Embassy in Washington didn’t immediately answer to a ask for for comment. Russian officials have denied the country intends to invade Ukraine and claims its troops are in close proximity to the border on physical exercises. Russia claims it has the proper to move troops about on its possess territory.

A Ukrainian Army Forces serviceman on the entrance line with Russia-backed separatists in the Donetsk location on Tuesday.



Photograph:

anatolii stepanov/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

In Washington on Friday, Ms. Psaki stated Russian officials and “influence actors” experienced sought to unfold misinformation about Ukraine to stimulate domestic Russian assist for navy motion there.

“These media narratives also blame the West for escalating rigidity, emphasize humanitarian issues in Ukraine that Russian intervention could solve and advertise Russian patriotism to stimulate domestic assist for navy motion,” she stated, reporting a two hundred% raise in the every day average of Russian-language written content on such narratives from November to December.

She and other White House officials have pointed to Russia’s 2014 invasion and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and its fomenting of a separatist war in Japanese Ukraine, warning they are observing the exact indicators of imminent conflict.

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“We’ve witnessed this right before, we observed this right before leading up to 2014…including sabotage things to do and details operations,” she stated. “And the Russian navy strategies to begin these things to do a number of weeks right before a navy invasion, which could begin in between mid-January and mid-February.”

The White House’s announcement follows a week of diplomatic engagements that have accomplished tiny to defuse tensions. Russian Overseas Minister

Sergei Lavrov

warned Friday that Moscow is managing out of persistence with the U.S. and pressed Washington for a reaction to its demands that the West stop encroaching on what the Kremlin sights as its standard sphere of influence. Western nations have characterised Russia’s demands as nonstarters.

On Monday, U.S. and Russian officials held bilateral security talks in Geneva, but equally sides stated the conversations experienced failed to slender the gap in between the sides.

A navy buildup together the Ukrainian border is even further straining ties in between Russia and the U.S., immediately after clashes around cybercrime, expulsions of diplomats and a migrant crisis in Belarus. WSJ clarifies what is deepening the rift in between Washington and Moscow. Photograph Composite/Online video: Michelle Inez Simon

Two days afterwards, NATO and Russia held their first talks because 2019, with Moscow continuing to desire that the alliance scale again navy things to do in former Soviet states and deny membership to Ukraine and Ga, which Russia considers part of its sphere of influence. NATO associates have roundly turned down these demands.

Then on Thursday, the Corporation for Safety and Cooperation in Europe, which counts the U.S., Ukraine and Russia among the its 57 associates, achieved to talk about the problem. Russian Deputy Overseas Minister

Sergei Ryabkov

stated talks experienced stalled and elevated the specter of a navy deployment to Venezuela or Cuba, a prospect Mr. Sullivan characterised as “bluster” but which he stated the U.S. would tackle “decisively.”

Mr. Sullivan stated Thursday that U.S. and European officials would confer on the route forward, but that potential clients for even further conversations with Russia were unclear.

Write to Andrew Restuccia at andrew.restu[email protected] and Courtney McBride at [email protected]

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