According to top sources in the Biden administration, classified war papers describing secret American and NATO plans for building up the Ukrainian military ahead of a planned attack against Russia were uploaded on social media platforms this week. The operation is scheduled to take place against Russia.
The Pentagon is conducting an investigation to determine who may have been responsible for the leak of the data, which were posted on Twitter as well as on Telegram, a network that has more than half a billion users and is widely accessible in Russia.
According to military specialists, it seems that some elements of the papers have been altered from their original format. As a result, estimates of the number of dead Russian forces have been understated, while estimates of the number of dead Ukrainian soldiers have been inflated.
The researchers believe that the adjustments may lead to an attempt at deception on the part of Moscow. However, the revelations in the original papers, which appear as images of maps of projected weapon supplies, troop and battalion levels, and other plans, reflect a substantial breach of American intelligence with regard to the operation to assist Ukraine.
The papers do not disclose exact combat plans, such as how, when, and where the Ukraine wants to start its onslaught. According to authorities from the United States, this offensive will most likely begin within the next month or two. In addition, because to the fact that the papers are five weeks old, they provide a snapshot in time — the American and Ukrainian assessment, as of March 1st, of what Ukrainian soldiers could need in order to participate in the operation.
On Friday, analysts said that it may be impossible to determine how the publishing of the papers would affect the combat on the frontlines both now and in the months to come. Russia’s own recent assault has failed to make advances in eastern Ukraine, and Western commentators are debating whether the Russian military, after incurring catastrophic fatalities, is capable of conducting another campaign or of defending itself against an attack by Ukraine.
It wasn’t apparent how the papers were posted on social media in the first place. According to the statements made by military experts, however, pro-Russian government outlets have been sharing and spreading the briefing slides.
For instance, one of the slides said that 16,000 to 17,500 Russian troops had been killed, while Ukraine had suffered up to 71,500 army losses as a result of the conflict. According to estimates provided by the Pentagon as well as those provided by other experts, the number of people killed and wounded in Russia is closer to 200,000, while the number of people killed and injured in Ukraine is more than 100,000.
Nevertheless, observers claimed that some portions of the papers looked to be legitimate and that they would supply Russia with useful information such as the schedules for the arrival of weapons and personnel, the numbers of Ukrainian force buildups, and other military specifics.
According to the paper, the length of time it takes to get equipment might have an effect on the amount of time spent exercising and getting ready. According to the study, there would need to be more than 250 tanks and more than 350 mechanised vehicles in order to adequately equip all nine brigades.
At a time when Russia had looked to be lagging the United States in intelligence collection in Ukraine, it seems that the papers were able to be uploaded on a social media channel that was widely spread, and it is presumed that they got into the hands of Russian authorities. This is a major coup for Moscow.
Concerned that revealing their operation plans may also show vulnerabilities and discourage continuing American help, the Ukrainians were carefully protecting them even as American intelligence gathered specific data on what the Kremlin was ordering and what Russian commanders were planned. The Americans were concerned that sharing their operation plans could also highlight shortcomings and discourage continued American support.
The United States and Ukraine have been working closely together on several alternatives for a Ukrainian attack since the exchange of information between the two nations became much less restricted in the autumn of last year.
However, a leak of information of this kind, which is placed on social media and visible to people all over the globe, is certain to damage the intelligence sharing relationship between Ukraine and the United States.