Europe could be plunged into war at ANY moment, as Putin launches ‘false flag’ attacks to fuel Ukraine’s invasion, US reveals

VLADIMIR Putin’s special forces have set off explosives to carry out a “false flag” operation to create a pretext for invading Ukraine, a US official said.

The United States published intelligence findings the day after National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Russia, which has gathered tens of thousands of troops on the Ukrainian border, “created a pretext for an invasion.”

US intelligence reports Russian special forces plan to invade Ukraine

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US intelligence reports Russian special forces plan to invade UkraineCredit: Avalon.red

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Russia could begin operations “several weeks” before a military invasion, which could begin between mid-January and mid-February.

They said: “We have information indicating that Russia has already proposed a group of operatives to carry out a false flag operation in eastern Ukraine.

“The operatives are trained in urban warfare and in the use of explosives to carry out sabotage actions against Russia’s own proxy forces.”

The official said Russia had simultaneously launched a disinformation campaign on social media, including messages accusing Ukraine of violating the law and the West of provoking tensions.

She added: “Our information also indicates that Russian influencers are already beginning to create Ukrainian provocations in state and social media to justify a Russian intervention and sow divisions in Ukraine.”

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

The US official said that the Russian-language justifications for Moscow’s narratives about Ukraine on social media in December had jumped by 200 percent to nearly 3,500 messages per day.

Sullivan, in his briefing to reporters, said Russia had used similar tactics in 2014 when it seized Crimea and supported a continuing uprising in eastern Ukraine.

He said: “We saw this playbook in 2014. They are making this playbook again.”

The United States released its findings on alleged false flag plans after a week of talks with Russia to resolve tensions.

Putin has denied plans to invade Ukraine, but has demanded security guarantees from the West, including promises not to expand NATO to the east.

Mr Sullivan said yesterday that the United States preferred diplomacy but was ready to “defend” allies and impose heavy economic costs on Russia if it invaded.

Russia intensified its pressure on Ukraine in 2014 after an uprising overthrew a government that had refused to push the country closer to the West.

Our information also indicates that Russian influencers are already beginning to make Ukrainian provocations

US official

More than 13,000 people have died since the pro-Russian uprising in eastern Ukraine.

Meanwhile, with 100,000 Russian troops en masse on the Ukrainian border, the US must prepare for a possible escalation, an expert said.

“We are facing a crisis in European security,” US Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Michael Carpenter said in a press release on Thursday.

“The drumbeat of war sounds loud and the rhetoric has become shrill.”

A top official in Poland, which borders Ukraine and Russia, has warned that fears of World War III are growing, with tumultuous tensions in Georgia, Armenia and Moldova, as well as Ukraine.

“It seems that the risk of war in the OSCE area is now greater than ever before in the last 30 years,” said Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau.

“For several weeks now we have been dealing with the prospect of a major military escalation in Eastern Europe.”

He added: “We must focus on a peaceful solution to the conflict in and around Ukraine.”

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Vladimir Putin has ordered that 100,000 Russian troops be stationed along the border with UkraineCredit: AFP
A top US diplomat has warned of an impending 'drumbeat of war'

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A top US diplomat has warned of an impending ‘drumbeat of war’Credit: AFP
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National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Russia, which has gathered tens of thousands of troops on the Ukrainian borderCredit: Getty
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