Ukraine update: US to investigate leaked Pentagon documents on Russian invasion

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News

 

The Pentagon said it is investigating how roughly 100 classified documents detailing U.S. national security secrets concerning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, among other highly sensitive information, were leaked on Friday.

Included among the documents are warnings to U.S. intelligence agencies ahead of Russian attacks in Ukraine and information about specific targets.

They also reveal the depth with which the U.S. has managed to infiltrate Russia’s government. The exposure could significantly hamper or even shut down U.S. espionage efforts there, according to several media reports. 

The documents, which included detailed maps, also offered greater insight into weaknesses and heavy casualties afflicting Russia’s military and a Ukrainian army that is running low on air defense ammunition. They also point to “[a] secret plan to prepare and equip nine brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by the US and NATO,” according to one of the leaks.

Other documents reportedly exposed U.S. efforts to spy on the governments of its own allies, including Ukraine, South Korea, France, and Israel.

Bloomberg called the national security breach “one of the largest leaks of alleged classified U.S. military documents in a decade.” 

Both U.S. and Ukrainian officials have said that inaccuracies in the documents, including allegedly doctored Russian casualty numbers, point to a Russian disinformation campaign, though they did not deny the authenticity of the documents. 

Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said that the Defense Department has “made a formal referral” of the matter to the Department of Justice.

Separately, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that he met with senior military staff to discuss “measures to prevent the leakage of information.”

WEEKEND STRIKES KILL AT LEAST 7 UKRAINIANS ON HOLY DAY

Ukrainian officials said Sunday that at least seven civilians were killed in weekend shelling by Russian forces. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy again called Russia a “terrorist state” in the aftermath of multiple S-300 missile attacks on the city of Zaporizhzhia that resulted in the death of a child.

The Ukrainian leader said in a Sunday night video message that one of the missile strikes targeted a residential building, killing a 10-year-old girl and her father, Newsweek reported.

“This is how the terrorist state spends this Palm Sunday. In this way, Russia puts itself in even greater isolation from the world, from humanity,” Zelenskyy said.

RUSSIA RESORTING TO ‘SCORCHED EARTH’ TACTICS IN STRUGGLE TO SEIZE BAKHMUT

Ukraine’s Armed Forces said that fighting was especially intense on Bakhmut’s western approaches on Sunday. Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of the ground forces, said that Ukraine’s defense of the eastern city located in the industrial Donetsk region has continued.

“The situation is difficult but controllable,” Syrskyi said in comments quoted by Ukraine’s Media Military Center, according to Reuters.  

The colonel added that Moscow is sending in special forces and airborne assault units to support their frustrated efforts to seize Bakhmut because Russia’s hired Wagner group mercenaries’ capabilities in the region have been exhausted. Russian forces, Syrskyi said, have resorted to “scorched earth” tactics in the region, which several media outlets have suggested are designed to mask deficiencies in equipment, ammunition, and personnel.

“The enemy switched to the so-called scorched earth tactics from Syria. It is destroying buildings and positions with air strikes and artillery fire,” Syrskyi said.

Ukraine’s military general staff stated that Russian forces were unsuccessful in their attempts to advance in territories west of Bakhmut, where it said at least 10 towns and villages had come under Russian shelling. The Russians were also unable to make any headway in attacks on nearby Avdiivka, according to the report.

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