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U.S. intelligence points to possible Russian false-flag operation in Ukraine

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U.S. intelligence points to possible Russian false-flag operation in Ukraine
Ukrainian reservists attend a military exercise at a training ground near Kiev. Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops along the Ukrainian border in preparation for a possible attack. File Photo by Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA-EFE

Jan. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. intelligence suggests Russia may be planning a false-flag operation to justify an invasion of Ukraine, officials said Friday.

A U.S. official told Politico that Russia has placed a group of operatives trained in urban warfare in eastern Ukraine.

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The group may carry out acts of sabotage against Russian proxy forces, giving the Kremlin an excuse to send the 100,000 troops stationed outside of Ukraine into the country, the U.S. alleges.

The planned false-flag operation will occur weeks before a potential invasion, according to officials.

Russia is laying groundwork to fabricate the attack, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan hinted during a briefing on Thursday.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said on Friday that Russian military units were preparing for provocations in an attempt to frame Ukraine.

Ukraine's government websites were also hacked on Friday.

The news comes after diplomatic meetings between Russia and western officials failed to reach agreements.

Russia didn't commit to de-escalating the massive amount of troops along Ukraine's border and demanded NATO to never let Ukraine into the alliance.

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