The US has claimed Russia is planning to stage a fake Ukrainian attack that it would use to justify an invasion.
It alleged Moscow was likely to release a graphic video showing the attack on Russian territory or against Russian-speaking people in eastern Ukraine. Russia denied it was planning to fabricate an attack, and the US did not provide evidence to support the claim.
The build-up of tens of thousands of Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders has escalated fear of an invasion.
Moscow said they are there for military drills, but Ukraine and its Western allies remain concerned that Russia is planning to launch an assault.
“We do have information that the Russians are likely to want to fabricate a pretext for an invasion,” said Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby on Thursday.
“As part of this fake attack, we believe that Russia would produce a very graphic propaganda video, which would include corpses and actors that would be depicting mourners and images of destroyed locations,” said Kirby.
But senior US officials said the video is just one of several ideas Russia has to provide a pretext to invade its neighbour.
They added that the alleged plan was being revealed in an effort to dissuade Russia from invading.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov responded to the reports later on Thursday.
“This is not the first promise of its kind [to release details about Russian provocation],” he said. “Something similar was also said before, but nothing came of it.”
Russia has repeatedly denied that it is planning an attack.