A heated exchange occurred between an Associated Press reporter and State Department spokesperson Ned Price on Thursday over unsubstantiated assertions that Russia was planning to stage a “false flag” incident in Ukraine or Russia.
During a briefing providing updates on the escalating tensions in Ukraine, Price referenced a report by intelligence officials last month that suggested Russia was trying to create a pretext for an invasion in Ukraine. Price said US intelligence suggested Russia was planning a “false flag” propaganda effort through the release of a “very graphic” fake video, but failed to provide evidence backing up his claims.
The alleged false flag incident would involve using corpses, footage of blown-up buildings, fake Ukrainian military hardware, Turkish-made drones and actors playing the part of Russian-speaking mourners, The Guardian reported.
US officials said the video would show Turkish-made Bayraktar drones taking part in the fabricated attack as a way of implicating NATO, and that the effort had the support of the Kremlin. By going public with the details, the US said it hoped to stall plans for an invasion, or stop the Russians from going forward with the false flag incident.
Associated Press reporter Matt Lee asked Ned Price: Where’s the evidence?
Well, we would be right to doubt the veracity of information from a government that led much of the world into a disastrous war in the Middle East following falsified claims of the presence of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq as a pretext for invasion in 2003.