Members of Ukraine’s security service, the SBU, were involved in an attack on a Russian A-50 military surveillance plane in Belarus that occurred on February 26 of this year, The Economist reported Monday.
The report cited a top-secret US document that is part of a trove of leaks from the Pentagon and other government agencies that have surfaced online. According to The Economist, the SBU determined on the day of the attack that “their own agents in Belarus had defied orders and attacked a Russian surveillance plane.”
The US learned SBU agents were involved in the attack by spying on Ukraine. The description of the SBU assessment is marked “SI-G.” According to The Economist, the acronym “indicates material derived from particularly sensitive signals intelligence, such as phone taps or electronic intercepts, according to officials familiar with the notation.”
According to what is believed to be a photo of the document circulating online, it reads: “Security Service of UKR (SBU) officials assessed that its agents in Belarus violated orders and attacked a RUS A-50U aircraft at Machulishchi Airfield, Belarus.”
At the time of the plane attack, Belarus’ exiled opposition celebrated the operation and said Belarusian “partisans” were responsible. On March 7, Russian media reported that Belarus’ State Security Committee determined that the Ukrainian SBU was involved in the sabotage.
The trove of leaks shows that the US is spying on officials in other countries, including Hungary, South Korea, and Israel. The Economist report said the US is also surveilling members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog.