Russia, Ukraine, the US and the other war – disinformation

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Russian troops in the occupied region of Southern of Kherson in Ukraine on Tuesday. The visit comes as Kyiv is reportedly preparing its spring offensive and as the US government continues to scramble over the 100+ leaked classified documents that point to how heavily Ukraine relies on the United States in its war efforts.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin

In one of the worst breaches of US’ national security in recent times, the leaked documents shared on social media platforms twitter and telegram last week detailed Ukraine’s “lack of ammunition and US intelligence’s collection methods against Russia” according to The Guardian.

After being posted on a gaming chat by 21-year-old Jack Teixeira, in the Massachusetts Air National Guards, according to the authorities, who has since been arrested by the FBI, “the Pentagon intelligence updates and briefing slides that have dribbled into public view this month” onto various social media websites, have offered new details about the state of the war.

One of the more recent leaks suggests Egypt was planning to covertly supply weapons to Russia according to the Washington Post, although the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt reportedly neither confirmed nor denied the claims, reiterating its “position of non-involvement”.

South Korea was added to the mix as documents suggested high level officials debated whether and how to supply Ukraine with ammunition, possibly via Poland,  upon the US’ request in spite of their policy, popular with their electorate, not to arm countries at war.

While the UK’s Department of Defence (DoD) reiterates that the veracity of the documents is yet to be confirmed, two things appear certain; the US continues to mend fences with allies after the leaked Pentagon documents seemed to show that Washington was spying on allied countries, including Israel and South Korea; and the leak has created tension among allies and spreads confusion.

The documents also spoke to the extent to which American intelligence agencies have inside information on Russia’s military, enough to give Ukraine real-time warnings implying Ukraine’s reliance on “US-produced” targets in Russian-held territory.

Perhaps the biggest concern today is that the Kremlin appears not to be scrambling, as one would expect, to find and block any American intelligence breaches of their own security. Which begs the question, are these documents of any significance at all, a distraction technique, or is it the leak from within the US that should truly worry the West?

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