‘Nonsense’: Russia dismisses US claims of false flag operation in Ukraine

The US warned that Russia could ‘fabricate a pretext for invasion’ with propaganda video

<p>Multiple rocket launchers fire during Belarusian and Russian joint military drills in footage released by the Russian Defence Ministry</p>

Multiple rocket launchers fire during Belarusian and Russian joint military drills in footage released by the Russian Defence Ministry

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Russia has hit back at US claims that Moscow plans to fabricate a pretext for starting a war with Ukraine, branding the suggestion as “nonsense”.

The United States last night warned that Russia was planning to stage an atrocity that it can blame on the Ukrainian forces and use as an excuse for an invasion.

The “false flag” event could include the use of corpses, actors depicting mourners, and images of destroyed locations to make a propaganda video, claimed Washington.

However, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was quick to counter the claims. The RIA news agency reported on Friday that Mr Lavrov called the claims “nonsense”.

His comments come after John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesperson, said that the US had information “that the Russians are likely to want to fabricate a pretext for an invasion, which is right out of their playbook”.

Mr Kirby described one option as “a fake attack by Ukrainian military or intelligence forces against Russian sovereign territory or against Russian-speaking people.”

He continued: “As part of this fake attack, we believe that Russia would produce a very graphic propaganda video which would include corpses and actors that would be depicting mourners and images of destroyed locations as well as military equipment at the hands of Ukraine and the West.”

The Kremlin hit out at this allegations on Friday morning saying: “Don’t believe anyone, especially the State department”.

UK foreign secretary Liz Truss issued a statement in response to the US claims on Thursday night, saying the intelligence was “clear and shocking evidence of Russia’s unprovoked aggression and underhand activity to destabilise Ukraine.”

She added: “This bellicose intent towards a sovereign, democratic country is completely unacceptable and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms.”

The latest war of words between the United States and Russia comes as Vladimir Putin holds talks with Chinese president Xi Jinping.

The Kremlin described the relationship between the two Presidents as “an advanced partnership with a special character” on Friday, and said that they discussed the need to move away from using the US dollar and broaden trade in national currencies.

President Joe Biden has said that Russian companies could be cut off from being able to trade in dollars as part of potential sanctions in the event of a Ukraine invasion.

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin signed a joint statement calling on the West to “abandon the ideologised approaches of the cold war”.

The document called on Nato to “respect the sovereignty, security and interests of other countries” and to “treat the peaceful development of other states objectively and fairly”.

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