Donbass militia head claims Ukraine planning 'false flag' operation
In an interview with RT on Thursday, Eduard Basurin, a spokesperson for the forces of the unrecognized Donetsk People's Republic, outlined details of an alleged plot to conduct a false flag operation in Ukraine's two breakaway eastern regions. Without providing evidence to back up the assertion, he claimed that commandos under the control of Kiev are planning to wear the uniforms of the Russian special forces as well as those of local fighters.
The official previously claimed, again without providing proof, that Ukraine was preparing six British-trained units with the task of infiltrating the rebel-held areas of the territory he represents, as well as that of the adjacent so-called ‘Lugansk People's Republic.’ From there, the commandos, he said, would conduct diversions and terrorist attacks on power stations, gas and water supplies, and chemical plants.
Kiev wants to unveil a fake rebel “defector,” who will claim on tape that the would-be attacks were orchestrated by Russia and that “all provocations were carried out by us,” Basurin told RT, citing what he said were intelligence reports. The end goal of the alleged plan is to frame Russia and “lure” it directly into the conflict, he added.
On Thursday, Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokesperson, accused Kiev of whipping up tensions as a cover for military provocations.
Ukraine has not responded to the allegations, but in the past Kiev has repeatedly denied committing unprovoked aggression against the rebels, which it considers to be terrorist groups.
The war in Ukraine erupted in 2014 when some predominately Russian-speaking parts in the country's east declared independence following the violent seizure of power in Kiev by pro-Western forces. Major fighting ended with ceasefire agreements in late 2014 and early 2015, but a low-level, often described as "frozen" conflict has continued.