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12 Apr, 2023 11:30

Leaked Pentagon files could be ‘deception’ operation – Moscow

The documents may have been deliberately planted, a senior Russian diplomat has suggested
Leaked Pentagon files could be ‘deception’ operation – Moscow

The Pentagon documents leak could be part of a campaign by Washington to deceive Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has claimed.

“Because the US is a party in the conflict [in Ukraine] and is essentially waging a hybrid war against us, such tricks to deceive the enemy, meaning Russia, are possible,” Ryabkov told reporters on Wednesday. “I am not saying anything definitively, but I assume different scenarios are plausible here.” 

The diplomat acknowledged that authentic classified documents have been leaked in the past. However, he added that “how much the current buzz and reports are grounded in reality is an open question for me personally.” 

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Tuesday that the government was taking the leak “very seriously” and would “turn over every rock” during its investigation into how supposedly top-secret files made their way online.

The disclosed files include intelligence briefs on various countries, as well as a daily report on the disposition of Ukrainian army units and the schedule for the training of Kiev’s troops abroad. One document cited by the media suggested that Washington was spying on Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Another provided new details on the September 2022 incident involving British and Russian warplanes over the Black Sea.

In a statement on Sunday, the Pentagon confirmed that at least some files “appear to contain sensitive and highly classified material.” Some countries, however, have disputed the accuracy of the information presented in the documents.

A British defense source told the Financial Times that the reports “contain inaccuracies and do not reflect what happened in international airspace over the Black Sea.”

Israel, meanwhile, has rejected claims made in a leaked file that its Mossad intelligence agency was encouraging anti-government protests inside the country.