Top secret Pentagon intelligence files on the war in Ukraine were leaked and shared widely on social media such as Telegram and Twitter. The documents were dated February 23 and March 1, although some earlier ones began to appear in January. The US has launched an investigation to find the person or persons responsible and the possible motive.
“A leak of highly classified documents on the war in Ukraine is shaping up to be one of the most damaging intelligence breaches in decades.” Wall Street Journal
White House probes classified intelligence ‘Discord Leaks’ — which expert says are likely as significant as Snowden files, Vault 7 and Shadow Brokers leaks https://t.co/izPpIj3JFs
— Mathew J Schwartz (@euroinfosec) April 10, 2023
Some of the documents appear to have been altered because they revealed a lower Russian casualty count than has been previously estimated, which leads authorities to believe that the leaker may have been Russian. That does not explain how they got their hands on top secret US documents, however. Some officials stated that the leaker may be American, though the motive for the leak is at present unknown.
The documents leaked appeared to have been folded twice on “A4” paper. The releases were photographs of the originals.
“The leaked documents are photographs of presentations and files that had been printed out on A4 paper. They appear to have been folded twice…” @JessMarinDavis, Global Research
The documents appear also to give maps and details about weapons shipments, as well as information on coordination with US allies. South Korea, for example, had a policy of not sending arms to Ukraine, but the Pentagon intelligence leak has caused repercussions with their constituents and legislature. They aren’t the only allies affected.
One of the documents gave details of internal discussions among senior South Korean officials about U.S. pressure on Seoul to supply weapons to Ukraine, and its policy of not doing so.
One of the documents marked “Top Secret” purportedly detailed how Russian private military contractors met with Turkish “contacts” to buy weapons from Ankara.
The Turkish embassy in Washington declined to comment.
Some of the most sensitive information is purportedly related to Ukraine’s military capabilities and shortcomings.
It is not uncommon for the United States and other countries to spy on their allies. But public disclosures of such spying are uncomfortable for those allies, who need to explain to their populations how they will respond.
“It is going to take some time to rebuild trust with our allies,” the second U.S. defense official interviewed by Reuters said. Reuters
Some US officials attempted to downplay the leak by stating that it had all the hallmarks of a “Russian disinformation campaign.” Where have we heard that before? Hint: Hunter Biden’s laptop that turned out to be real and damaging. Not that anyone will ever do anything about it.
The Pentagon intelligence leak may have revealed the timeline of an upcoming Ukraine counter-offensive, which is one of the extremely damaging parts of the leak. Ukraine denies it was a problem.
“The aim of secret data “leaks” is obvious: divert attention, cast doubts & mutual suspicions, sow discord. It’s an ordinary game of ru-secret services. To take open briefings, add fake info or certain parts of interceptions & publish them on social networks legalizing the “leak.” …This has nothing to do with Ukraine’s real plans. As for the real counteroffensive plans, the Russian troops will certainly be the first to get acquainted with them.” Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the Ukraine Presidential Office
A few analysts say that this leak was far less damaging than the Wikileaks disclosures. Others say it not only caused damage to the Ukraine war but upset many of our allies as well. All in all, it’s once again a cluster for the United States.
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