Kremlin plot to spark war with fake film of attack by Ukraine

Published by The Daily Mail (4th February, 2022)

An alarming Kremlin plan to create a fake film of an attack by Ukrainian troops was revealed last night.

Russia intended to use the fabricated video, with actors allegedly posing as mourners and even corpses, as justification for an invasion of its neighbour, the New York Times reported.

It is claimed Moscow planned to claim the attack happened either in Russian territory or against Russian-speakers in east Ukraine. One British official described information obtained by US intelligence as ‘credible and extremely concerning’.

Details were released in Washington to derail the plan, which was condemned last night by UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss as ‘clear and shocking evidence’ of the Kremlin’s ‘underhand activity to destabilise Ukraine’.

A Pentagon spokesman said the video would be ‘very graphic’. Another Washington official suggested it would show Turkish-made drones involved in the fake attack in order to implicate Nato.

Britain has already accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of plotting to install a pro-Moscow stooge to lead Ukraine’s government – identifying a former Ukrainian MP as a potential candidate.

It has also emerged that two former Ukrainian police officers – one a high ranking former cop – were arrested for involvement in a plot to destabilise the country by sparking violent clashes.

The scheme was exposed after security forces obtained secret footage of two men discussing plans for protests due to start this week in the capital and two regions bordering Russia.

The plans involved attacks on police and faked scenes of blood-covered people treated by mock-medics. Security forces claimed the men were given £26,000 to finance protests, with peaceful participants paid £21, those using violence £31 and anyone setting fire to tyres given up to £1,800.

On the video – edited by officials before being made public – the two suspects discussed attacks on police with fire extinguishers, flares and smoke-bombs, and talked about ‘putting on a show’. The alleged plot was revealed by interior minister Denys Monastyrsky, who warned that ‘blood was supposed to be shed’ and screened footage from the secret video.

Kiev security services are investigating if it was linked to Moscow. Mr Monastyrsky told a press conference that the protesters – posing as Ukrainian ultra-nationalists – would include ‘up to 1,500 thugs who were to arrange fights with law enforcement officers’.

One of those arrested was Yuriy Goluban, 45, an ex-police colonel who was commander of a special forces unit on the Donbas frontline in the eight-year struggle against separatist rebels backed by Russia.

A separatist leader in Donetsk claimed Goluban, who was decorated in 2017 for his service, had fought with them. A security probe into possible collaboration with separatist insurgents was launched but did not go to court.

The second man arrested was Oleksandr Ivanov, 30, a former police officer who also served in Donbas. Both men, who denied the allegations, were refused bail.

The arrests follow the detention last week of a ‘Russian military intelligence agent’, caught allegedly planning terror attacks in Odesa, Ukraine’s key port on the Black Sea.

Russian state-controlled media has been spreading a false story about a Ukrainian drone violating airspace in Belarus – where thousands of Moscow’s troops are gathering for supposed exercises with Minsk forces.

RAF fighters and Russian strategic bombers confronted one another near UK airspace for a second successive day yesterday.

The Typhoons were scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland after reports of President Putin’s aircraft approaching.

They escorted the long-range Russian aircraft away from UK skies yesterday morning before touching down safely. The incident came at a time of near-unprecedented tension between Nato and Russia over Ukraine, with around 130,000 Russian troops encamped on its border.

Last night Foreign Secretary Liz Truss condemned ‘Russia’s unprovoked aggression and underhand activity to destabilise Ukraine’ and pledged to ‘expose Russian subterfuge and propaganda’.

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