The Pentagon announced on Thursday that Russia may be fabricating videos of Ukraine attacking Russia in order to justify an invasion.
“We do have information that the Russians are likely to fabricate a pretext for an invasion,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told the press on Thursday. “One option is the Russian government, we think, is planning to stage a fake attack by Ukrainian military or intelligence forces against Russian sovereign territory, or against Russian speaking people, to therefore justify their action.”
Kirby then said that a report published by The Washington Post claiming that Russia was planning to fabricate an attack by Ukraine was true.
“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 hand of Ukraine or the West, even to the point where some of this equipment would be made to look like it was Western supplied to Ukraine equipment,” Kirby said.
State officials insist that making this information public is a viable strategy towards dissuading Russia from following through on its plans. State Department spokesperson Ned Price explained why the US believes this will be effective:
“We are making it available to you for a couple reasons. One, is to attempt to deter the Russians from going ahead with this activity. Two, in the event we’re not able to do that, in the event the Russians do go ahead with this, to make it clear as day, to lay bare the fact that this has always been an attempt on the part of the Russian Federation to fabricate a pretext,” Price said.
Russia moves medical supplies to the Ukraine border
Just last week Russia moved medical supplies, including blood for transfusions, towards the border of Ukraine, indicating the country’s preparedness to go to war.
U.S. officials say that it is not just the fact that Russia has moved supplies closer to Ukraine, but rather that it is medical supplies, specifically blood, that clearly indicates Russia’s military readiness.
This development all but confirms President Joe Biden’s prediction that a Russian invasion of Ukraine was inevitable.
The Pentagon had remarked that “medical support” would be the clearest sign of Russia’s position. Officials explained that although it doesn’t necessarily mean an attack has begun, there is no way to launch one without having those supplies ready:
“It doesn’t guarantee that there’s going to be another attack, but you would not execute another attack unless you have that in hand,” said Ben Hodges, a retired U.S. lieutenant general who works with the Center for European Policy Analysis research institute.
Biden predicted Russia “will move in” to Ukraine last Wednesday, as NATO allies reinforce the country’s defenses by sending weapons and personnel.
“My guess is he will move in; he has to do something,” Biden told reporters at an East Room news conference. “Do I think he’ll test the West, test the United States and NATO? Yes. As significantly as he can? Yes, I think he will,” he added.
“But I think he’ll pay a serious and dear price for it that he doesn’t think now will cost him. And I think he will regret having done it.”