Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said Thursday the United States believes that Russia might be planning to create an elaborate hoax as a pretext to invade Ukraine.
“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, even to the point where some of this equipment would be made to look like it was Western-supplied,” Kirby told reporters during a Pentagon press briefing.
The Kremlin on Thursday called President Joe Biden’s decision to send thousands of troops to Eastern Europe proof of U.S. aggression and called on the United States to “stop fueling tensions.”
The Washington Post reported Thursday that Russia is considering filming a fake attack against Russian territory or Russian speaking people and has recruited people to create the video.
“We don’t know that this is the route they are going to take, but we know that this is an option under consideration that would involve actors,” Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer said, according to NBC News.
The alleged Russian plan to fabricate an excuse to invade Ukraine was first reported by the New York Times and Washington Post.
U.S. officials have not released any evidence of the alleged fabrication plot. They said doing so would compromise their sources and methods.
Intelligence officials said the plan represents an expansion of a propaganda campaign Russia has been pushing out since November. They hope to disrupt the plan by making it public.
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