“We’ve info that signifies Russia has already prepositioned a gaggle of operatives to conduct a false-flag operation in jap Ukraine,” Ms Psaki advised reporters.

“The operatives are skilled in city warfare and in utilizing explosives to hold out acts of sabotage in opposition to Russia’s personal proxy forces.”

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Russia shortly denied the account, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling the US statements “unfounded.”

However Pentagon spokesman John Kirby stated the intelligence was “very credible” and that the classification had been downgraded to permit its launch to the general public.

He stated that Russian operatives might embrace intelligence brokers, army components and different safety companies.

“They typically hybridise their personnel to such a level that the strains should not essentially actually clear,” Kirby advised reporters.

Rise in disinformation

The allegations come as Ukraine was hit by a significant cyberattack, which led NATO to vow to step up cooperation with Kyiv for on-line safety.

Ms Psaki stated america was “involved” by the assault, however stopped in need of blaming Russia, saying there was not but a discovering on who was accountable.

Ms Psaki stated Russia, alongside its purported false-flag preparations, had ramped up a disinformation marketing campaign on social media, together with posts that accuse Ukraine of rights violations and the West of upsetting tensions.

“Our info additionally signifies that Russian affect actors are already beginning to fabricate Ukrainian provocations in state and social media to justify a Russian intervention and sow divisions in Ukraine,” she stated.

The US has repeatedly accused Russia of spreading conspiracies and disinformation on social media.

Ms Psaki stated Russian-language justifications for Moscow’s narratives on Ukraine on social media have jumped by 200 % in December to almost 3,500 posts per day.

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Mr Sullivan, in his briefing to reporters, stated Russia had used comparable techniques in 2014 when it seized Crimea and backed an ongoing insurgency in jap Ukraine.

“We noticed this playbook in 2014. They’re making ready this playbook once more,” Mr Sullivan stated.

The US launched the findings on the alleged false-flag plans after per week of talks with Russia to defuse tensions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied plans to invade Ukraine however has demanded safety ensures from the West, together with guarantees to not broaden NATO eastward.

Mr Sullivan stated Thursday that america most well-liked diplomacy however was ready to “defend” allies and to impose main financial prices on Russia if it invades.

Russia stepped up its stress on Ukraine in 2014 after an rebellion toppled a authorities that had rejected stress to maneuver the nation nearer to the West.

Greater than 13,000 folks have since died within the pro-Russian insurgency in jap Ukraine.

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