Foreign PolicyForeign Policy

Ukraine Wouldn't Be Russia's First False-Flag War

By Calder Walton

04 Feb 2022 · 6 min read

Last month, as tensions between Ukraine and Russia escalated, the U.S. Department of Defense publicly warned that Russian operatives were planning a false-flag operation—a deception operation designed to give them an excuse to intervene in Ukraine. This was followed by an unusual public announcement by Britain’s foreign office alleging that the Kremlin was plotting to install a pliant, pro-Russian, leader in Ukraine. Then, this week, U.S. intelligence officials have published details of a Russian plot to fabricate a graphic video as pretext for an attack on Ukraine. The video apparently would include staged explosions, with corpses, actors, and mourners, to justify Russian intervention.

Amid the saber-rattling and the fog of war descending, it is difficult for all observers, including governments, to understand what will happen next in Ukraine. Rumors are swirling, and tensions are escalating day by day, even hour by hour.

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