Ukraine claims Russia planning false flag terrorism in Donbas

The US had warned Moscow of staging "false-flag incidents."

Ukrainian soldiers fire artillery during the conflict in Donbas (photo credit: REUTERS)
Ukrainian soldiers fire artillery during the conflict in Donbas
(photo credit: REUTERS)

Ukrainian Defense Intelligence stated last month that Kremlin leaders are "looking for reasons to accuse our state of illegal actions in Donbas in order to justify the escalation of the armed aggression."

Russian-state media had also been spreading rumors that the Ukrainian military is preparing to attack Donbas, which is a separatist region located in eastern Ukraine, The New York Times reported earlier this week. With the rumor quickly spreading on social media, they also stated that the military was being aided by American, British and Polish mercenaries.

The Russian leadership had been considering organizing a military assault in the areas where the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic are located - both of which are self-proclaimed breakaway states within Ukraine, according to the Defense Intelligence.

US President Joe Biden also stated it was possible that Russia was “engaged in a false flag operation” as an excuse for its invasion, the Times reported. 

Citing researchers of misinformation, the NYT report states that they looked into rumors within Russian media and on the internet, from Telegram to televised statements by Russian officials, that could justify armed aggression. The report also said that Russian-backed media has been spreading conspiracy theories that stashes of chemical weapons were gifted to Ukraine by the US.

A VAN destroyed during fighting in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas conflict which is now in its fourth year. (credit: REUTERS)A VAN destroyed during fighting in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas conflict which is now in its fourth year. (credit: REUTERS)

Washington warned Moscow of staging "false-flag incidents," the BBC reported in February, stating that a Telegram channel by Russia-back separatists posted a video from Donbas, allegedly showing "pro-Ukrainian militants trying to blow up a chlorine tank in the separatist-held area," which was then covered by Russian news agencies. 

The video was proven to be fake after investigators reported discrepancies including showing that the video was taken much earlier than when Russia began its invasion on February 24 - as their data showed that it was created more than two weeks earlier, on February 8. 

Furthermore, a video that was taken in Donbas where a car was shown being blown up "looks staged," according to a retired bomb disposal expert who reviewed the footage.

Weapons intelligence experts stated that the video can be proven fake by the location of the car. Specialist Pete Norton stated that "there's no evidence that a bomb had been buried in the road or that the vehicle was traveling at speed when it was destroyed."