Russian agents have already started fabricating Ukrainian provocations to justify Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine and to divide its citizens, a representative of the US President's administration told the Polish Press Agency PAP, confirming media reports about planned "false-flag operations" in the Donbas area.
The official said that Russian troops were planning a provocation with the use of saboteurs previously deployed in Donbas, and that the operation could take place in the next few weeks.
"Russia is paving the way to fabricate the excuse for an invasion, including through sabotage and information operations, by accusing Ukraine of preparing the upcoming attack against Russian forces in eastern Ukraine," said a US official.
According to the US authorities, the operations are to precede a military intervention between January and February - provided that the Russian authorities decide to attack. The saboteurs were to be specially trained in fighting in urban space and sabotage against Donbas separatists.
A representative of the Joe Biden administration added that "Russian agents of influence" in the media and on social networks have already started "fabricating Ukrainian provocations" to justify the invasion and lead to divisions in Ukrainian society.
They are also to promote a narrative that the West is to blame for the current tensions, and to stress "humanitarian problems that the intervention could solve" and to promote patriotism and support for hostilities.
However, the official did not provide specific examples, nor did he directly answer the question of how much specific information the US has about the planned provocations.