Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday strongly rejected US claims that Moscow is planning a “false flag” operation in eastern Ukraine as a way to justify an invasion.
Lavrov dismissed the US accusation as “total disinformation” and reaffirmed that Moscow wants a written response from Washington on the security guarantees Russia is seeking from NATO.
The claim that Russia is planning a false flag against the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region first surfaced in a CNN report. What started as a flimsy claim from an anonymous US official quickly spread through most major US media outlets and then was parroted by the White House and Pentagon.
The US has provided no evidence to back up the false flag assertion. The extraordinary claim overshadowed a report from Yahoo News that revealed the CIA has been training Ukrainian paramilitaries since 2015. One former CIA official said the training program taught the Ukrainians how to “kill Russians.”
The Biden administration is also reportedly considering backing an armed insurgency in Ukraine if Russia invades. But realistically, Moscow has little to gain from invading its neighbor.
Russia has not ruled out the possibility of sending its military to Cuba or Venezuela if the US doesn’t take its security concerns seriously. Even hinting at such a deployment is viewed as a provocation by US media, exposing a double standard since Russia’s primary concern is over the deployment of US and NATO troops near its borders.