Washington accuses Moscow of plotting a sabotage operation to use it as a pretext to invade Ukraine

Washington accuses Moscow of plotting a sabotage operation to use it as a pretext to invade Ukraine  The White House spokeswoman said that Russia had sent agents to Ukraine to carry out "sabotage" operations aimed at creating a "pretext" for an invasion, while Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded that the statements were "unfounded."  The United States on Friday accused Russia of sending operatives to Ukraine to carry out "sabotage" aimed at creating a "pretext" for an invasion, heightening tensions as Kiev blamed Moscow for a cyber attack on its ministries.  "We have information indicating that Russia has already prepared a group of elements to carry out a camouflaged operation in eastern Ukraine," White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, explaining intelligence that Washington confirmed it had obtained.  She added, "The elements are trained in urban warfare and the use of explosives to launch sabotage operations" against proxy forces on behalf of Russia.  Psaki added that US intelligence believed that Russia could begin those operations weeks before the military invasion, which could begin between mid-January and February.  Russia has previously denied any plans to invade Ukraine and quickly denied recent US statements, which Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described as "unfounded".  Simultaneously, two US officials said Friday that if Russia chooses to escalate the crisis over Ukraine, the United States can resort to the UN Security Council, stressing that Washington still prefers a diplomatic settlement of the file.  Agreement with "Atlantic"  On Friday, NATO announced its intention to sign an agreement with Ukraine to strengthen their cooperation in combating cyber attacks, hours after government websites in Ukraine were subjected to a major cyber attack.  The deal to be signed "in the coming days" centers on granting "Ukraine access to a NATO platform for sharing information on malicious programs," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement.  Stoltenberg explained that NATO experts are in Ukraine providing "field support to the Ukrainian authorities."  This comes after Ukraine revealed on Friday that a major cyber attack had targeted a number of government websites.  The circumstances of this attack are still unknown. Ukraine announced Friday that it had "initial indications" of the possible involvement of Russian intelligence services in the attack.  "Ukrainian Security Service has obtained initial indications that groups of hackers linked to Russian intelligence may be behind today's major cyber attack," Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Lej Nikolenko said on Twitter.  According to a statement issued by the Security Service (SBU), the attacks carried out on Thursday-Friday night targeted 70 government websites.  "Get ready for the greatest" The European Union was quick to condemn the attack, amid a tense atmosphere between Russia and Western countries, which fear that Russian forces will invade Ukraine.  European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell stated that everything was mobilized to help Kiev, saying, "You can imagine who did it," without further explanation.  For his part, Andrei Ermak, head of the Ukrainian presidential office, said that Western and Ukrainian intelligence believed that the cyber attacks were part of a scheme aimed at "destabilizing Ukraine."  Ukraine and its Western allies have repeatedly accused Moscow of carrying out coordinated cyber attacks on their websites and infrastructure, which Russia has denied.  Ukraine confirmed on Friday that it had not incurred serious damage as a result of this "large-scale" attack, which affected the websites of several ministries.  The organizers of this attack posted a threatening message in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish on the home page of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.  The message, which was accompanied by several symbols, including a crossed out Ukrainian flag, read: "Ukrainians, stand up and prepare for the greatest. All your personal data has been downloaded from the network."  For their part, the authorities denied any data theft.  The Ukrainian Security Service confirmed that "the content of the sites has not been altered and there have been no leaks of personal data," noting that the websites were intentionally disabled to avoid the "widening of the attacks."  Some see a large-scale information attack on basic infrastructure in Ukraine with the aim of destabilizing it as a sign of an imminent military invasion.  Ukraine has been repeatedly subjected to information attacks in recent years attributed to Russia, for example, against basic infrastructure in 2017 and the electricity network in 2015.  In October, the US judiciary indicted six agents of the Russian military intelligence in the context of these cyber attacks and other hacking operations carried out around the world.  Military exercises And in 2015, a cyber attack attributed to Russia cut off electricity for long hours in western Ukraine.  The new information attack comes after several sessions of talks between Russian and Western officials held in recent days to defuse the crisis, without making any progress.  Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky proposed a virtual trilateral meeting with his American counterparts Joe Biden and Russian Vladimir Putin, in an effort to defuse the crisis at the border between Ukraine and Russia, Ermak revealed.  Russia has previously announced that it sees no reason to hold a new round of talks with Western countries "in the coming days", stressing that it has no "intention" to invade its neighbor.  On Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry published pictures of military maneuvers about fifty kilometers from the Ukrainian border, with the participation of 2,500 soldiers and about a hundred tanks.  Russia annexed Crimea after the 2014 pro-Western revolution in Ukraine.  Moscow is the military sponsor of pro-separatists who have been fighting with Ukrainian forces in the east of the country since 2014.

Washington accuses Moscow of plotting a sabotage operation to use it as a pretext to invade Ukraine


The White House spokeswoman said that Russia had sent agents to Ukraine to carry out "sabotage" operations aimed at creating a "pretext" for an invasion, while Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded that the statements were "unfounded."

The United States on Friday accused Russia of sending operatives to Ukraine to carry out "sabotage" aimed at creating a "pretext" for an invasion, heightening tensions as Kiev blamed Moscow for a cyber attack on its ministries.

"We have information indicating that Russia has already prepared a group of elements to carry out a camouflaged operation in eastern Ukraine," White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, explaining intelligence that Washington confirmed it had obtained.

She added, "The elements are trained in urban warfare and the use of explosives to launch sabotage operations" against proxy forces on behalf of Russia.

Psaki added that US intelligence believed that Russia could begin those operations weeks before the military invasion, which could begin between mid-January and February.

Russia has previously denied any plans to invade Ukraine and quickly denied recent US statements, which Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described as "unfounded".

Simultaneously, two US officials said Friday that if Russia chooses to escalate the crisis over Ukraine, the United States can resort to the UN Security Council, stressing that Washington still prefers a diplomatic settlement of the file.

Agreement with "Atlantic"

On Friday, NATO announced its intention to sign an agreement with Ukraine to strengthen their cooperation in combating cyber attacks, hours after government websites in Ukraine were subjected to a major cyber attack.

The deal to be signed "in the coming days" centers on granting "Ukraine access to a NATO platform for sharing information on malicious programs," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement.

Stoltenberg explained that NATO experts are in Ukraine providing "field support to the Ukrainian authorities."

This comes after Ukraine revealed on Friday that a major cyber attack had targeted a number of government websites.

The circumstances of this attack are still unknown. Ukraine announced Friday that it had "initial indications" of the possible involvement of Russian intelligence services in the attack.

"Ukrainian Security Service has obtained initial indications that groups of hackers linked to Russian intelligence may be behind today's major cyber attack," Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Lej Nikolenko said on Twitter.

According to a statement issued by the Security Service (SBU), the attacks carried out on Thursday-Friday night targeted 70 government websites.

"Get ready for the greatest"
The European Union was quick to condemn the attack, amid a tense atmosphere between Russia and Western countries, which fear that Russian forces will invade Ukraine.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell stated that everything was mobilized to help Kiev, saying, "You can imagine who did it," without further explanation.

For his part, Andrei Ermak, head of the Ukrainian presidential office, said that Western and Ukrainian intelligence believed that the cyber attacks were part of a scheme aimed at "destabilizing Ukraine."

Ukraine and its Western allies have repeatedly accused Moscow of carrying out coordinated cyber attacks on their websites and infrastructure, which Russia has denied.

Ukraine confirmed on Friday that it had not incurred serious damage as a result of this "large-scale" attack, which affected the websites of several ministries.

The organizers of this attack posted a threatening message in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish on the home page of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

The message, which was accompanied by several symbols, including a crossed out Ukrainian flag, read: "Ukrainians, stand up and prepare for the greatest. All your personal data has been downloaded from the network."

For their part, the authorities denied any data theft.

The Ukrainian Security Service confirmed that "the content of the sites has not been altered and there have been no leaks of personal data," noting that the websites were intentionally disabled to avoid the "widening of the attacks."

Some see a large-scale information attack on basic infrastructure in Ukraine with the aim of destabilizing it as a sign of an imminent military invasion.

Ukraine has been repeatedly subjected to information attacks in recent years attributed to Russia, for example, against basic infrastructure in 2017 and the electricity network in 2015.

In October, the US judiciary indicted six agents of the Russian military intelligence in the context of these cyber attacks and other hacking operations carried out around the world.

Military exercises
And in 2015, a cyber attack attributed to Russia cut off electricity for long hours in western Ukraine.

The new information attack comes after several sessions of talks between Russian and Western officials held in recent days to defuse the crisis, without making any progress.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky proposed a virtual trilateral meeting with his American counterparts Joe Biden and Russian Vladimir Putin, in an effort to defuse the crisis at the border between Ukraine and Russia, Ermak revealed.

Russia has previously announced that it sees no reason to hold a new round of talks with Western countries "in the coming days", stressing that it has no "intention" to invade its neighbor.

On Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry published pictures of military maneuvers about fifty kilometers from the Ukrainian border, with the participation of 2,500 soldiers and about a hundred tanks.

Russia annexed Crimea after the 2014 pro-Western revolution in Ukraine.

Moscow is the military sponsor of pro-separatists who have been fighting with Ukrainian forces in the east of the country since 2014.


A week of consecutive setbacks Why has Biden's popularity declined significantly recently?  In the face of provocations from North Korea and Russia, rising inflation in the United States and the failure of his parliamentary project to reform the electoral system, Joe Biden's presidency witnessed a noticeable decline in its balance this week.  In an effort to salvage what is possible, President Joe Biden wants to laud the results of his program of expenditures on the country's crumbling infrastructure.  "The administration has made significant progress in implementing the largest long-term investment in nearly a century in infrastructure," the White House said in a statement Friday.  On November 15, Joe Biden managed to pass a $1,200 billion spending plan to invest in roads, bridges, and electric car stations, and praised Democratic Senator Kirsten Senema for his support.  And Thursday, Senator Senema herself was the one burying a few words from the Senate podium, an election bill that Joe Biden promised would protect African-American access to the polls in the face of restrictions imposed by some conservative states in the South.  Transformation This text is emblematic of the transformation that Joe Biden is seeking: in two speeches the president issued warnings of an unprecedented danger to American democracy and launched unprecedented violent attacks against his predecessor, Donald Trump, and against the opposition in general.  To pass the law, the Democratic camp planned to push it through by force. But Democrats control only 50 votes in the Senate, plus the vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, to 50 for the Republicans.  Without Kirsten Senema and without Joe Manchin, another hesitant Democratic senator, the margin for maneuver is doomed, and so is electoral reform.  Also Thursday, the Supreme Court struck down the mandatory vaccine that the president had wanted to impose on major corporations. Biden's national security adviser admitted to the press at the conclusion of intense diplomatic talks with Russia that the risk of a new conflict in Ukraine had not dissipated.  A dark day in the middle of a bad week was a stark reminder that Joe Biden, who took office nearly a year ago, made big promises but with little room for maneuver. His control of Congress is too little, and he will have to deal with a supreme court that has become too conservative.  Poor popularity On the economic front, inflation has reached its highest level since 1982.  The number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 reached a record, in a new wave that emptied the shelves of supermarkets that have faced repeated shortage problems since the epidemic began.  On Friday, North Korea conducted its third missile test in a year in an additional provocation, while the United States has just imposed new financial sanctions.  One by one, opinion polls confirm the decline in the president's popularity. A survey conducted by Quinnipiac University on Wednesday indicated that his popularity rate is only 33%, noting that the majority of other polls give him a confidence margin of about 42%.  In this context, the efforts of White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki to show strengths, do not leave much impact.  “More than 200 million people have been vaccinated (against Covid), we have set records in creating jobs while unemployment rates are at historic lows. We have rebuilt our alliances and our relationships in the world,” Psaki said Thursday, promising that the president will not back down and will continue to support “difficult” projects.  Then, Friday, she announced that the US president would hold a press conference on January 19.  "Next Wednesday, the president will hold an official press conference at 16:00" on the eve of the first anniversary of his inauguration as president, she said.

A week of consecutive setbacks Why has Biden's popularity declined significantly recently?


In the face of provocations from North Korea and Russia, rising inflation in the United States and the failure of his parliamentary project to reform the electoral system, Joe Biden's presidency witnessed a noticeable decline in its balance this week.

In an effort to salvage what is possible, President Joe Biden wants to laud the results of his program of expenditures on the country's crumbling infrastructure.

"The administration has made significant progress in implementing the largest long-term investment in nearly a century in infrastructure," the White House said in a statement Friday.

On November 15, Joe Biden managed to pass a $1,200 billion spending plan to invest in roads, bridges, and electric car stations, and praised Democratic Senator Kirsten Senema for his support.

And Thursday, Senator Senema herself was the one burying a few words from the Senate podium, an election bill that Joe Biden promised would protect African-American access to the polls in the face of restrictions imposed by some conservative states in the South.

Transformation
This text is emblematic of the transformation that Joe Biden is seeking: in two speeches the president issued warnings of an unprecedented danger to American democracy and launched unprecedented violent attacks against his predecessor, Donald Trump, and against the opposition in general.

To pass the law, the Democratic camp planned to push it through by force. But Democrats control only 50 votes in the Senate, plus the vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, to 50 for the Republicans.

Without Kirsten Senema and without Joe Manchin, another hesitant Democratic senator, the margin for maneuver is doomed, and so is electoral reform.

Also Thursday, the Supreme Court struck down the mandatory vaccine that the president had wanted to impose on major corporations. Biden's national security adviser admitted to the press at the conclusion of intense diplomatic talks with Russia that the risk of a new conflict in Ukraine had not dissipated.

A dark day in the middle of a bad week was a stark reminder that Joe Biden, who took office nearly a year ago, made big promises but with little room for maneuver. His control of Congress is too little, and he will have to deal with a supreme court that has become too conservative.

Poor popularity
On the economic front, inflation has reached its highest level since 1982.

The number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 reached a record, in a new wave that emptied the shelves of supermarkets that have faced repeated shortage problems since the epidemic began.

On Friday, North Korea conducted its third missile test in a year in an additional provocation, while the United States has just imposed new financial sanctions.

One by one, opinion polls confirm the decline in the president's popularity. A survey conducted by Quinnipiac University on Wednesday indicated that his popularity rate is only 33%, noting that the majority of other polls give him a confidence margin of about 42%.

In this context, the efforts of White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki to show strengths, do not leave much impact.

“More than 200 million people have been vaccinated (against Covid), we have set records in creating jobs while unemployment rates are at historic lows. We have rebuilt our alliances and our relationships in the world,” Psaki said Thursday, promising that the president will not back down and will continue to support “difficult” projects.

Then, Friday, she announced that the US president would hold a press conference on January 19.

"Next Wednesday, the president will hold an official press conference at 16:00" on the eve of the first anniversary of his inauguration as president, she said.


US intelligence official: Russia is preparing a pretext to invade Ukraine


US intelligence official: Russia is preparing a pretext to invade Ukraine


According to a US official, Washington believes that Moscow has equipped trained agents to conduct a "spurious operation" in eastern Ukraine, and that agents could use explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against pro-Russian forces and blame Ukraine.

The administration of US President Joe Biden has spotted an ongoing Russian effort to create a pretext for Russian forces for a possible further invasion of Ukraine, and made clear that Moscow has already equipped agents for a "spurious operation" in eastern Ukraine, a US official said Friday.

According to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss sensitive intelligence, the administration believes that Russia is also laying the groundwork for that effort with a disinformation campaign on social media by portraying Ukraine as an aggressor that was preparing for an imminent attack on Russian forces. in its eastern region.

The official added that US intelligence officials have concluded that Russia has indeed sent agents trained in urban warfare who could use explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against proxy forces and blame Ukraine, if Russian President Vladimir Putin decides he wants to go ahead with the invasion.

The disclosure of the new intelligence comes after a series of talks between Russia, the United States and Western allies this week in Europe aimed at averting the escalating crisis. While the talks resulted in little progress.

And US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Thursday that the US intelligence services have not provided an assessment that the Russians, who have massed about 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border, have definitively decided to take a military course of action in Ukraine.

However, he said, Russia is paving the way for an invasion under false pretenses if Putin decides to go down this path.

He added that the Russians were planning to carry out "subversive activities and media campaigns" accusing Kiev of preparing for an imminent attack on Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.

He explained that the move is similar to what the Kremlin did in the run-up to Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

The Black Sea peninsula of Crimea has been under Ukrainian jurisdiction since 1954.
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