Pentagon: Russia Plotting Invasion of Ukraine Under False Pretenses

The Pentagon affirmed Thursday the US has insights that Russia will “concoct” a reason to invade Ukraine. The Washington Post disclosed Russia devised a plan to invade Ukraine by blaming an attack on Ukrainian troops. 

“Weapons Provided by the West”

According to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, the Russians are almost certain to want to create a premise for an incursion. 

To justify their actions, U.S. officials believe Russia is plotting a “fake assault by the Ukrainian army or intelligence forces against Russian sovereign land or Russian-speaking individuals.” 

Kirby said the US has details that machinery in the video “would be made up to look like it was Western provided” to Ukraine. 

“This is only one,” Kirby said. “We’re all keeping an eye on it. We’ve seen Russians do this before.”  According to the Washington Post, the proposal was approved by the Russian government. 

“Our knowledge is that very little of this disposition is not authorized at the top levels of the Russian state,” Kirby said, alluding to Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Kirby’s remarks come a day after the US announced 3,000 additional troops for Romania, Poland, and Germany. 

President Biden and his federal intelligence agents weighed where to dispatch troops to help Ukraine as part of a wider NATO endeavor, whereas Putin threatened attacks. 

Wednesday, the Pentagon said forces would “guarantee a sturdy protection of our NATO allies,” rather than fight in Ukraine. 

Around 900 US troops are already in Romania.

The 8,500 soldiers put on high alert by Austin “are not currently stationed, but are ready to move if requested for the NATO reaction force or as necessary for other situations,” Kirby said Wednesday. 

The Pentagon alerted last week that a conflict in Eastern Europe would be “horrendous,” but it is “not unavoidable.”

Later, the Pentagon said there is “still time and space for dialogue,” as the Kremlin keeps threatening further incursions in Ukraine. 

On Wednesday, the White House retracted its claim that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “inevitable,” saying officials “don’t know” if Putin has decided to invade. 

The Ukraine President’s Views

Last week, President Biden tried to warn Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of a “definite possibility” of a Russian invasion in February. 

Zelensky says Ukraine is “not seeing any bigger intensification” and the Russian military offense may be an attempt to create “psychological pressure” and anxiety. 

Russia has refuted planning an attack. Russian authorities said NATO must pledge not to admit Ukraine, among other imperatives, which the US and NATO have rejected. 

Mr. Nebenzya accused the West of trying to force a Ukrainian war. “It’s been done before, and it’s never caused hysteria,” he said. “Talking about war is controversial in itself.” 

“You almost call for it, want this to happen, and wait for it to happen,” Nebenzya said.