Yesterday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Russia had been plotting to shoot and release a fake video of a Ukrainian Army strike on the non-government-controlled territory of Donbas or on Russia, which would prompt Moscow to act commensurately with the “threat” coming from Ukraine.
This was supposed to be a very “graphic propaganda video, which would include corpses and actors that would be depicting mourners and images of destroyed locations.”
In fact, John Kirby voiced one of those scenarios that Russia could use to create the notorious casus belli that would serve as a pretext for invading Ukraine.
But, the question arises why this scenario was voiced at the Pentagon level right now and why it was publicly exposed in the first place? Let’s start with the second part of the question.
In the comments under my materials, dedicated to possible Russian provocations, I very often come across very “wise” remarks that this is all a “lame story” that doesn’t stand up to criticism. It seems to many that only once an act of provocation has been committed, is it necessary to debunk it and prove that it’s a sham instead of engaging in theory.
So much for the “wisdom” of those who fail to understand what a pre-emptive strike is.
Back in December 2021, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced precisely this kind of provocation, saying that some American mercenaries brught chemical weapons to the front line in Donbas to set up a chemical attack. This statement was immediately picked up by the Ukrainian and Western media not from the standpoint of Sergei Shoigu accusing Ukraine and the United States of preparing such an act, but as a clear signal of what Russia is preparing.
And now, it’s February 2022, and there is still no chemical attack. And, had Russia carried it out, then there would have been casualties among the civilians, as well as the accompanying colossal casualties if this act was used as a pretext for an invasion. And then, the investigation in hot pursuit would lose its relevance, to put it mildly, given the thousands of new victims and hot hostilities.
In fact, over the past few months, there have been multiple reports in the public domain about various scenarios in the casus belli format that Russia planned to implement. And each of these scenarios, gaining publicity, leveled the surprise factor of such provocation. When exposed, all efforts to prepare the act of provocation are losing their relevance. And the more often it is mentioned in media, the more unlikely its application becomes.
Now, let’s move on to the first part of the question, namely, the timing.
The fact is that any hybrid provocation requires certain preparation, as well as the presence of Russian propaganda media. Within the framework of many conflicts, Russia has its own pool of so-called “war correspondents” who have been acting as manipulators and distributors of fake news for years. They are well known, and their emergence in certain hot spots causes solid alert as, in this case, all kinds of provocation and the subsequent circulation of disinformation should be expected.
In particular, the cohort of Russian blood-thirsty war correspondents is now being deployed in Donbas, while their colleagues Semyon Pegov and Dmitry Steshin have already been on the ground for some time. Their very presence there and the approach of other propaganda media indicated that Russia had indeed been plotting an act of provocation, which these pseudo-journalists were set to widely cover.
And therefore, the Pentagon, being aware of the impending provocation and all the existing trends, went for pre-emption. Now, taking into account the reaction of the Russian propaganda segment that reached the highest offices, which even prompted Russian president’s spox Dmitry Peskov to try to decry the reports, the Pentagon delivered a very timely pre-emptive blow.