The Biden administration continues to suggest that Russia might carry out a “false flag” operation against separatists in eastern Ukraine to justify an invasion. Russia has repeatedly rejected the accusation, and the US has offered no evidence, but that hasn’t stopped Biden officials from making the claim.
In an interview with CBS, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the US is “watching very carefully” for a false flag.
“We also are watching very carefully for the possibility that there is a pretext or a false flag operation to kick off the Russian action in which Russian intelligence services conduct some kind of attack on Russian proxy forces in eastern Ukraine or on Russian citizens, and then blame it on the Ukrainians,” he said.
On Saturday, The Washington Post cited unnamed US and European officials who said new intelligence suggested Russia was plotting a false flag. But again, the report offered no evidence to back up the claim.
The repeated false flag claims mean the US is poised to blame any escalation in the region on Russia regardless of who is responsible. An escalation of the war in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region is always possible, and the separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk republics have been warning that Ukraine has been deploying more military hardware near the conflict zone.
A flare-up in the Donbas could be enough to give the US an excuse to end talks with Moscow, impose new sanctions on Russia, and deploy more troops to Eastern Europe.