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The United States has accused Russia of seeking an excuse for war

“We have information that Russia has already deployed a group of agents to carry out sabotage operations in eastern Ukraine,” said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki. According to Psaki, these agents were trained in “urban warfare” as well as in handling explosives in order to carry out sabotage actions against Russian officials, whom Moscow would then claim to have carried out in Ukraine, Psaki claims, adding that this is information from US Secret Service. That would then be an excuse for military intervention in Ukraine.

“We are concerned that the Russian government is preparing an invasion of Ukraine that could lead to human rights violations and war crimes if diplomacy does not achieve its goals,” Psaki said. The White House did not say how realistic this intelligence assessment was.

In addition to the “fake flag operation”, the groundwork has been laid for a disinformation campaign in which Ukraine will be portrayed as an aggressor planning an imminent attack in eastern Ukraine, Psaki added. This should justify Russian intervention and cause divisions in Ukraine.

“Russian diplomats will then spread stories of human rights abuses in Ukraine and the growing militancy of Ukrainian leaders,” Psaki said, adding: “All this is spreading misinformation.”

Andras Racz, a senior fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations, Security and Defense, told DW that he believed the possibility of operating under a false flag was real. “Using fake flag operations as an excuse for armed conflict would not really be unknown to Russian military practices,” Rac said.

Moscow immediately and indignantly rejected these American accusations. “All these statements so far are baseless and have not been confirmed by anything,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the state-run Tass news agency.

“We have no more patience”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called for an urgent written response from NATO to his request for security guarantees from the Western military alliance against Russia. NATO troops near Russia’s borders pose a security challenge to his country that must be addressed immediately, he said, adding that he expects a response by next week. Otherwise, Russia will take care of its own security.

“We no longer have the patience,” Lavrov said, noting that arms control talks were of secondary importance to his country. “You have to understand that the key to everything is the guarantee that NATO will not expand east,” he said. “Russia’s demands are a package, not a menu where everyone can choose what they want,” Lavrov said.

When is everything planned for?

Meanwhile, there have been reports in the United States that the Russian military is moving short-range missiles, electronics, armored vehicles and tanks from the eastern part of the country to the border with Ukraine. According to a study by the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank, the troop movement began long before US-NATO talks with Russia.

Politicians such as Democrat Adam Schiff believe that Putin may have long ago made the decision to invade Ukraine again, which the Kremlin categorically rejects.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded a guarantee that NATO will not accept Ukraine or other countries that were previously part of the Soviet Union in their membership. In addition, it demands that NATO withdraw its military equipment not only from Ukraine but also from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which have been members of NATO for 18 years. The West has already rejected these demands.

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