What do the leaked intelligence reports say? Here’s a quick guide.

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Leak or hack? Information or disinformation?

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A coup by Russia or a ploy by the United States?

Days later US intelligence documents, some marked “top secret“, circulating on social media, doubts persist about how dozens of pages of Pentagon reports were made public and about what importance should be given to them.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.  (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Here’s what we know about the documents.

Are the documents true?

Yes, at least for the most part.

US authorities are alarmed by the exposure of classified information and the FBI is working to determine the origin of escape.

Some of the documents appear to have been altered, according to authorities.

It is not clear who falsified the reports or why.

Whatever the reason, part of the material, according to military analysts, exaggerates estimates report on Ukrainian war dead and underestimates how many Russian soldiers have died since Moscow’s invasion of its neighbor last year.

Where does the material come from?

The evidence that this is a leak, and not a hack, seems strong.

The stuff might appear Whac-a-Mole-style on platforms like Twitter, 4chan and the messaging app Telegram — not to mention a Discord channel dedicated to the Minecraft video game — but what’s making the rounds are photographs of printed accounts.

They look like quick photos of scraps of paper on top of what appears to be a hunting magazine.

Former officials who have reviewed the material say it appears to have been dubbed a classified report, put in a pocket and then removed from a safe area to be photographed.

Some documents have been specifically marked for US eyes only, increasing the likelihood that a American officer filter information.

What do we know about the war in Ukraine?

While the documents may not substantially alter understanding of what is happening on the battlefield, they may offer hints – or at least tantalizing clues – to the trained eye of a Russian war planner.

The documents contain no specific battle plans, not even for the Ukrainian counter-offensive scheduled for next month.

But they detail the secret plans of the United States and NATO strengthen the Ukrainian army before that offensive.

They also suggest that the Ukrainian forces are in a situation more desperate than his government has publicly acknowledged.

-Without an influx of ammunition, the documents show, the air defense system that kept the Russian Air Force at bay it could collapse soon, allowing the president Vladimir Putin Unleash your fighter jets in a way that could change the course of warfare.

And the mere fact that the materials were leaked – and especially the confirmation they offered that the US government is spying on allies and adversaries alike – may demonstrate harmful for the generally unified coalition that has emerged to help Ukraine repel the Russian invasion.

It can also make allies think twice before sharing sensitive information.

Has the United States penetrated Russian intelligence?

Leaked Pentagon documents reveal the extent to which the United States penetrated Russia’s security and intelligence services, allowing Washington to warn Ukraine of the planned attacks and know the strength of the Moscow war machine.

The material reinforces an idea intelligence officials have long acknowledged:

The US knows Russian military operations better than Ukrainian plans.

The military is so deeply compromised, the documents suggest, that US intelligence has been able to receive real-time daily alerts about the timing of Moscow’s attacks and even their specific targets.

This can change.

The leak has the potential to do real damage to Ukraine’s war effort by exposing the Russian agencies the United States is most aware of, giving Moscow a potential opportunity to cut off sources of information.

Disinformation? If yes, by whom?

Washington officials described the release of the documents as a serious violation of intelligence servicesbut in Kiev and Moscow there is agreement on two things:

The information is suspicious and the goal is subterfuge. I just don’t agree on who is behind it.

Talking with The New York TimesMykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskysaid the documents were full of “fictitious information”.

“There is no question that this is another element of hybrid warfare,” he said.

“Russia is trying to influence Ukrainian society, sowing fear, panic, distrust and doubt. This is typical behavior.”

The goal, the Ukrainians say, is undermine the counteroffensive what is coming now.

In Russia, pro-war military bloggers also took aim at the Ukrainian counter-offensive, but drew a different conclusion.

A message on Gray Zone, a Telegram channel associated with Wagner’s militia, read:

“We must not exclude the high probability that such a leak of classified information at the exact moment of the escalation of hostilities, and after the fact of the consummated events shown in the documents, is a Western intelligence disinformation in order to deceive our command to identify the enemy’s strategy in the coming counter-offensive.”

On other Russian Telegram channels, prominent voices say the original documents showed increased Russian casualties, part of a raiding operation. “Western influencewas meant to “instill low morale in Russia and the Russian forces,” according to the head of a British firm that tracks disinformation.

What other countries are named?

The leak appears to go far beyond classified material on Ukraine.

Security analysts who have reviewed the social media documents say the growing cache also includes sensitive information material about it Canada, China, Israel and South Koreain addition to the military theater Indo-Pacific and Middle East.

Among the revelations: – A group of hackers led by the Russian Federal Security Service may have compromised a Canadian pipeline company in February and caused damage to its infrastructure.

– An assessment by the Pentagon concluded that the leadership of the mossad, Israel’s Foreign Intelligence Service had encouraged agency personnel and Israeli citizens to participate in the anti-government protests that rocked the country in March. Israeli authorities disputed the report.

– Officials of South Koreaa key US ally, torn between pressure from Washington to help supply munitions to Ukraine and its official policy not to supply lethal weapons to warring countries, feared the US could hijack South korean weapons in kyiv.

– The Russian military may be waveringbut the private group of mercenaries Wagner – run by an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin – is thriving in much of the world.

Wagner works to counter American interests in Africa and studied the possibility of entering Haitiright under the nose of the United States.

– To prepare for the introduction of NATO-supplied advanced tanks into Ukrainian battlefields, Russian forces are preparing to pay a premium to troops that damage or destroy one.

– One of the documents sets out a US assessment of scenarios that could lead Israel to supply Ukraine with arms, contrary to current Israeli policy.

– US officials have prepared a disastrous evaluation of one of the longest battles of the war, at Bakhmut.

c.2023 The New York Times Society

Source: Clarin

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