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Ukraine’s Separatists Spread Staged Videos and Recordings Ahead of Feared Russian Invasion

February 21st, 2022 15:43

Inde­pen­dent Russ­ian media is report­ing that amid the feared Russ­ian inva­sion, Ukrain­ian sep­a­ratist forces are spread­ing staged record­ings and videos to try and incrim­i­nate the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment. Accord­ing to a Moscow Times:

Feb­ru­ary 21, 2022  The explo­sion of open-source intel­li­gence in the past decade has helped to debunk many reports that might oth­er­wise have been tak­en at face val­ue.  It exposed that a seem­ing­ly urgent call last Fri­day by Ukraine’s sep­a­ratist lead­ers for locals to evac­u­ate to Rus­sia had actu­al­ly been record­ed two days in advance. “The pres­i­dent of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelen­sky, will soon issue an order for his forces to go on the attack,” Donet­sk rebel chief Denis Pushilin says in his video mes­sage.  “There­fore today, on Feb­ru­ary 18, we are orga­niz­ing a large-scale evac­u­a­tion of the civil­ian pop­u­la­tion into Rus­sia,” he says.  Telegram meta­da­ta showed that both Pushilin’s mes­sage and one record­ed by anoth­er sep­a­ratist leader were uploaded on Feb­ru­ary 16 – one of the days Wash­ing­ton had orig­i­nal­ly sug­gest­ed a Russ­ian inva­sion might be launched.  “Every­thing that hap­pens today is clear­ly and undoubt­ed­ly staged,” inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist Mark Kru­tov tweet­ed as wor­ries spread that the rebels were mov­ing peo­ple out so that Russ­ian tanks could move in. […]

Belling­cat and oth­er dis­in­for­ma­tion war­riors found visu­al evi­dence show­ing that a car bomb alleged­ly tar­get­ing a sep­a­ratist police chief had actu­al­ly been plant­ed on a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent vehi­cle.  They showed pho­tographs of the police chief’s reg­is­tered license plate on a shiny new mod­el SUV.  That same plate then appears attached to the man­gled remains of an old­er green army vehi­cle blown up in an emp­ty park­ing last Fri­day.  No one was hurt but Russ­ian state tele­vi­sion soon aired what it claimed to be the con­fes­sion of a “Ukrain­ian spy” involved in the pur­port­ed bomb plot.

Read the rest here.

The report notes that even after eight years of con­flict,  the scale and breadth of this infor­ma­tion war has reached epic pro­por­tions as Russ­ian forces sur­round Ukraine’s borders.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report has exten­sive­ly cov­ered Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion oper­a­tions tar­get­ing Ukraine in recent months.