The Washington Post is reporting Thursday bizarre and sensational claims by US intelligence saying that Russia planned to stage a false flag to justify a massive invasion of Ukraine. Specifically Russian intelligence is being accused of producing a fake video showing a Ukrainian Bayraktar TB-2 drone attacking pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine's eastern regions, which was to "fabricate a pretext for an invasion."
Oil surged as the bombshell claims against Moscow quickly grabbed world headlines, emerging as the NY Times and CNN top story by early afternoon.
The accusations are positively staggering, especially given how over the top the detailed claims are - all while sourced to US intelligence assertions - but lacking completely in any specific evidence.
Here are the details an unnamed senior Biden admin official told CNN:
A senior administration official told CNN that the US has intelligence suggesting that the Russian government, with the help of Russia's intelligence services, has been planning to produce a propaganda video depicting graphic scenes of a "staged false explosion with corpses, actors depicting mourners, and images of destroyed locations and military equipment," the official said. The US believes Russia has already recruited actors to be involved in the fake attack.
"This video, if released, could provide Putin the spark he needs to initiate and justify military operations against Ukraine," the official added. It follows claims last month that Russia could be plotting false flag attacks against its own proxies in Donbas.
Interestingly, The Washington Post - which was the first to report the story - alongside other like CNN has introduced some level of doubt within their own reporting...
"It shows the level of cynicism, frankly, that is on the other side of this conflict," deputy national security adviser Jon Finer told MSNBC on Thursday. "We're not saying definitively this is what they're going to do. We are saying that this is an option under consideration, and that they have used these sorts of pretext in the past to justify military action."
Throughout the past month, both sides of the Ukraine crisis have accused the other of waging "information wars" - however, these new claims, complete with details of crisis actors and war scenes and corpses being "staged", have reached new levels of the bizarre.
This week mainstream media appears to be pushing the 'Russia false flag' narrative hard...
The US is warning of possible false flag operations by Russia, as pretext for an invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov denies any such thing: “I can assure you that Russia is never involved in any business of this kind.” pic.twitter.com/7pRp177Wsw— Christiane Amanpour (@amanpour) February 3, 2022
Meanwhile in the State Department briefing room, even MSM reporters are pushing back against the dubious narrative - charges which Russia has vehemently rejected and condemned.
In an exchange with @StateDeptSpox, a skeptical @apdiplowriter pleads for him to provide one piece of evidence that #Russia is planning to use crisis actors to stage a mass casualty event in #Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/qOnNqCjnSJ— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) February 3, 2022