Washington gets grilled over Russia ‘false flag’ claims (VIDEO)
The US has accused Russia of creating a propaganda video featuring crisis actors, staged fake explosions, and NATO military equipment such as Turkish drones, as a pretext for invading Ukraine in the coming days.
The claim was first published on Thursday morning by the Washington Post, which cited an unnamed US official quoting US intelligence assessments. It was then picked up by CNN and other outlets. On Thursday afternoon, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the government “made public” that intelligence, and echoed the description of the alleged video featured in the Post and CNN stories.
The video is “entirely fabricated by Russian intelligence” and is “one of a number of options the Russian government is developing as a fake pretext to initiate and potentially justify military aggression against Ukraine,” Price claimed. He added that the US is making the claim public as a way to deter Russia from its “destructive and destabilizing disinformation campaign” against Ukraine.
Pressed to show any evidence for the claim, Price said his own statement constituted evidence, and that it was “derived from information known to the US government, intelligence information that we have declassified.”
“If you doubt the credibility of the US government, of the British government, of other governments, and want to find solace in the information the Russians are putting out, that is for you to do,” Price told AP’s diplomatic correspondent Matt Lee, dismissing his line of questioning.
Second exchange between @APDiploWriter Matt Lee and @StateDeptSpox Ned Price.Lee asks for "one piece of verifiable evidence" of false flag propaganda. Price: "Let me make a couple broad points..." pic.twitter.com/RlwQhlWbC9— CSPAN (@cspan) February 3, 2022
“Russia never does such things,” Moscow’s ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, told RIA Novosti on Thursday, when asked about the new US allegations.
As proof of alleged Russian ‘actions’ in Ukraine, the State Department spokesman quoted the allegation anonymous US officials made to CNN in mid-January, claiming that Russia had sent a “group of operatives” trained in urban warfare to attack “Russia’s own proxy forces” in the two disputed regions of eastern Ukraine, in order to create a pretext for an “invasion.”
Moscow dismissed these claims as “unsubstantiated” hearsay. Several days later, leaders of the Donetsk militia told reporters it was British-trained Ukrainian saboteurs that were planning attacks they would then attribute to Russia as ‘false flags’.