OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 11:23 AM – Friday, April 7, 2023
United States officials have confirmed the leak of classified military documents regarding the war in Ukraine.
The Pentagon has launched an investigation into a security breach in which classified military documents regarding the U.S. and NATO’s support for Ukraine have leaked online, circulating on Twitter and Telegram.
“We are aware of the reports of social media posts, and the Department is reviewing the matter,” said Sabrina Singh, deputy Pentagon press secretary.
Military officials have also warned that the leaked documents appear to have been “slightly” altered in order to exaggerate the numbers of Ukrainian casualties and minimize the losses of Russian troops. Due to the reported alterations to the documents, officials suggest that the leak was a disinformation attempt made by Russia.
Advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Mykhailo Podolyak, said the leak was inconsequential, and dismissed it as “Russian disinformation games” meant to “discredit the very idea of offensive.”
“The published data are related exclusively to the information and operational game that the Russians started in order to introduce confusion, seize the initiative and discredit the very idea of offensive. It is obvious,” he said. “Firstly, by gaining access to real plans, you will not publicly admit it. To prepare in secret counter activities. And therefore, secondly, it is possible to organize a ‘drain’ of fictitious data only within the framework of a special informational counter-game.”
The leak appeared as a series of photographs which captured different logistical maps and charts. The data shown in the pictures reportedly directly connects to support operations such as weapon deliveries as well as accounting soldiers as well.
The leaked documents themselves are from around March 1st, and did not contain any information regarding battle strategies, or any information about offensive movements.
The Ukrainian presidential advisor went on to claim that the purpose behind the leak was to give Russia credit and convince Ukrainians and their allies that “Russia allegedly controls the situation, knows about Ukrainian plans, and destroys the Ukrainian army.”
“There is not the slightest doubt that this is another element of the hybrid component of the war. Russia is trying to influence Ukrainian society with information and sow fear, panic, distrust, and doubt. Very typical behavior. The essence is simple: to convince Ukraine that Russia allegedly controls the situation knows everything about Ukrainian plans, and destroys the Ukrainian army,” he concluded. “But all this, I emphasize once again, is a pure and banal propaganda fiction: one has only to open a real news report from the front, and we will see that only Russia suffers situational defeats along the entire front line and does not have any significant successes.”
He went on to further discredit Russian intelligence by tweeting that the only way they are able to redeem themselves is with “photoshop & ‘virtual fake leaks,’” and that Moscow is making efforts to disrupt the Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Officials from the Study of War Institute have concluded that based on the information from Russia and Ukraine, along with previous war strategies and historical patterns of ground warfare, the Ukrainians are readying for a significant offensive push in the spring.
At the same time, Russian forces have reportedly reached the city center of Bakhmut. The fighting in the city has been ongoing for months now with little to no progress being made on either side. However, with Russia’s recent advances, the supply routes of Ukraine are now being threatened, according to the United Kingdom government.
Russia has detained and also formally charged Evan Gershkovich, the American reporter employed by the Wall Street Journal, with espionage according to Russian news agencies and Reuters. Gershkovich has denied the charges, saying that he was working as a journalist and had no connection with the U.S. government.
“He categorically denied all the accusations and stated that he was engaged in journalistic activities in Russia,” TASS, a Russian news agency cited an unidentified source as saying.
Gershkovich’s arrest marks the first time that an American journalist has been arrested and charged with espionage in Russia since the Cold War.
Majority leader Chick Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.) have issues a joint statement condemning the arrest and charges against Gershkovich, and the decision made by Russian authorities to hold him.
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