US Investigating Classified Pentagon Ukraine War Documents Leaks
Dozens of classified Pentagon Ukraine war documents that were leaked and posted online show how the U.S. spied on Russia's war machine in Ukraine and made secret assessments of Ukraine's fighting power. They also show how the U.S. gathered information on America's allies, like South Korea and Israel.
Hilda WorkmanApr 10, 202336 Shares538 Views
Dozens of classified Pentagon Ukraine war documentsthat were leaked and posted online show how the U.S. spied on Russia's war machine in Ukraine and made secret assessments of Ukraine's fighting power. They also show how the U.S. gathered information on America's allies, like South Korea and Israel.
The documents first showed up online in March, and a senior U.S. official said Saturday that the government's "working theory" is that they are real, though some of them could have been changed.
It's not clear what the full effects of the leak will be, but it could be the worst breach of U.S. intelligence secrets since 2013, when Edward Snowden, a contractor for the National Security Agency, gave thousands of secret documents to journalists about U.S. electronic surveillance.
A "top secret" document that shows how forces in Ukraine are used every day was leaked and is now on social media, a U.S. official said. This official said that someone took a picture of the document and posted it on Telegram, a social media site with more than 500 million users. From there, it was picked up by Twitter. Officials at the Pentagon are working to get the secret information off of social media.
A second official said that the Pentagon is trying to figure out how the information got out and how bad it is. Then, on Friday, classified government documents about Ukraine and other parts of the world started showing up on social media. This made it look like a major Pentagon secret had been leaked.
Five slides with pictures of folded and unfolded documents were posted on a pro-Russian Telegram channel on Thursday. The pictures look real, but U.S. officials said that some of them looked like they had been changed.
One of the slides says that 16,000 to 17,500 Russians have been killed in action, but U.S. defense officials have said in public that Russia has lost over 200,000 people. The posted documents are also more than a month old.
The adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Mykhailo Podolyak, said on his Telegram channel that he thinks the Russians are behind the supposed leak. Podolyak said that the documents that were passed around are fake, have "nothing to do with Ukraine's real plans," and are based on "a large amount of fictitious information."
Whether or not the documents are real, they have brought more attention to when the planned Ukrainian counteroffensive will start and what, if anything, each side knows about how the other is getting ready for it.
A picture of a hard copy of a document called "US, Allied, and Partner UAF Combat Power Build" has been going around on Russian Telegram channels.
The document, which is from February and is marked as secret, shows how many Western weapons systems Ukraine has on hand, when more systems are expected to arrive, and what training Ukraine has or is supposed to have on those systems.
But if even some of the published documents are real, the leak of classified information is troubling and makes people wonder what other information about the Ukraine war or any upcoming offensive could be shared. On Friday, U.S. officials didn't say where the documents came from, if they were real, or who was the first person to put them online.
The Justice Department is looking into the possible release of Pentagon Ukraine war documents that were posted on a number of social media sites. The documents seem to describe how the U.S. and NATO are helping Ukraine, but they may have been changed or used as part of a campaign to spread false information.
The documents, which were posted on sites like Twitter, are marked "secret" and look like the daily updates that the Joint Staff of the U.S. military would make but not share with the public. They have dates ranging from February 23 to March 1, and they seem to give more precise information about when and how much weapons and equipment are going to Ukraine than the U.S. usually says in public.