Russia accused of ‘false flag’ after claiming it killed five Ukrainian troops in Russian territory

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Russia has been accused of orchestrating a ‘false flag’ occasion after Moscow claimed it killed five Ukranian troops in Russian territory, with out supplying proof.

In what can be the primary deadly conflict between Russian and Ukrainian forces since Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine’s east on Monday, Moscow claimed it had ambushed two navy items, destroyed two armoured autos and killed five. 

But analysts had been fast to cast doubt over the claims, which have resulted in contemporary warnings that the Kremlin is seeking to manufacture battle as justification to start a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. 

In one other incident, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) claimed that bombing carried out by ‘Ukrainian saboteurs’ killed three civilians. A video of a reporter exhibiting the injury was additionally questioned by analysts.

Ukrainian officers additionally dismissed the alleged incidents, with one calling on the Kremlin to ‘cease your fake-producing manufacturing unit now’.

The claims got here as Russian tanks, armoured autos and vehicles had been seen rolling into japanese areas in a single day following Putin’s orders to deploy on so known as ‘peacekeeping’ missions.

And on the identical time, Ukraine mentioned heavy shelling broke out alongside practically all 250 miles of its frontline with the breakaway provinces, leaving two of its troopers lifeless and 12 injured in a significant escalation in violence.

Russia has been accused of orchestrating a ‘false flag’ occasion after Moscow claimed it killed five Ukranian troops in Russian territory, with out supplying proof. A video allegedly exhibiting the incident (pictured) has been extensively debunked by analysts as faux

The video confirmed a ‘soldier’ following an armoured automobile via a discipline, and was filmed on a digital camera by one other particular person following them holding a weapon (pictured)

The head of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed on Monday Russian forces destroyed two Ukrainian navy items that crossed into Russian territory.

The Russian navy mentioned it killed five suspected ‘saboteurs’ who crossed into Russia’s Rostov area and in addition destroyed two armoured autos and took a Ukrainian serviceman prisoner. 

Ukraine dismissed the claims saying no such conflict had taken place involving its troops, having earlier disputed Russia’s declare Ukraine’s forces had destroyed a Russian navy checkpoint. 

Officials mentioned no troops had been lacking in the area, whereas Ukraine’s international minister Dmytro Kuleba took to social media to disclaim Moscow’s claims, writing: ‘Russia, stop your fake-producing factory now.’

Ukrainian navy spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Pavlo Kovalchuk mentioned: ‘This complete flase declare of a Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group being caught someplace close to the Russian border is totally false.’

Ukrainian Border Guard spokesman Andriy Demchenko dismissed the declare as ‘disinformation.’

Helmet-cam footage of the alleged incident was posted on-line and shared on social media.

It was claimed that it was filmed by troopers in the Ukrainian items allegedly in Russia, with the footage being seized by Russian troops and posted on-line by officers.

The video confirmed a ‘soldier’ following an armoured automobile via a discipline, and was filmed on a digital camera by one other particular person following them holding a weapon.

As the group handed down a mud monitor, pictures will be heard being fired, and the 2 folks in navy gear run down the highway and dive to the ground.

Another video reportedly confirmed the armoured automobile in flames, and was posted by state-controlled broadcaster Russia Today. Others on twitter identified that the automobile proven in the second video didn’t match that seen in the primary

But specialists mentioned digital locators embedded in on-line movies concerning the supposed incident, together with one other alleged assault, confirmed each had been filmed in the identical space, regardless of Russian claims that they befell far aside. 

Elliot Higgins, founder of investigative journalism web site Bellingcat, shared the footage and claimed the video was ‘fabricated’. 

He mentioned his publication had been in a position to geo-locate the place the footage was filmed via landmarks proven in the video, writing on Twitter that it was filmed inside separatist territory on the border with Russia. 

Others questioned the legitimacy of the footage as effectively, with Oliver Alexander – one other journalist and analyst – writing: ‘They have now launched ‘helmet cam’ footage for the claimed incursion by Ukrainian troops.

‘Because in case you are going sneak into Russia to carry out sabotage, you of course deliver a helmet cam and BTRs,’ he added sarcastically.

Another video reportedly confirmed the armoured automobile in flames, and was posted by state-controlled broadcaster Russia Today. Others on twitter identified that the automobile proven in the second video didn’t match that seen in the primary.

On Monday, Ukraine dismissed a Russian declare that its forces had shelled a border put up, denouncing it as ‘faux information’ designed to inflame tensions.

The FSB had earlier alleged {that a} projectile fired from Ukraine had destroyed a border facility utilized by its guards.

Video launched by the FSB confirmed a small, apparently one-room shed with its roof and partitions caved in and a Russian flag leaning in opposition to strewn particles. 

But Ukraine’s spokesman for its joint navy operation in opposition to Russian-backed separatists in japanese Ukraine was unimpressed by the Russian allegation.

‘They conduct totally different provocations and produce faux information each day, even a pair of instances per day,’ Kovalchuk instructed reporters in Kramatorsk.

‘We could not cease them producing this faux information, however we all the time emphasise that we don’t shoot at civilian infrastructure,’ he mentioned.

‘We do not use artillery to shoot again at occupation forces,’ he added, referring to the Moscow-backed rebels holding components of the Donetsk and Lugansk areas.

Moscow was accused final evening of producing Hollywood-style ‘fake news’ movies to inflame tensions with Ukraine.

News bulletins in Russia yesterday had been full of stories of shelling and different obvious provocations by Ukraine that had been unverified or denied by the West and Kiev.

One video, launched by the DPR in japanese Ukraine, appeared to indicate a person pretending his leg had been blown off by a Ukrainian artillery strike.

A video launched by the Donetsk People’s Republic in japanese Ukraine, confirmed a person pretending his leg had been blown off by a Ukrainian artillery strike

It was mocked on-line as it confirmed the person’s left leg, supposedly blown off underneath the knee, was already a prosthetic with the decrease half indifferent. The video was later faraway from social media. 

Another clip from Russian state TV station Rossiya 1 confirmed a senior battle correspondent in Donetsk claiming town was coming underneath hearth from Ukrainian shelling and {that a} Ukrainian invasion was imminent. 

Washington has repeatedly warned that Moscow is attempting to justify a deliberate invasion by planting faux tales of Ukrainian aggression.

Latvia’s international minister Edgars Rinkevics instructed Bloomberg: ‘It’s all made up like a Hollywood film.’  

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace mentioned there had been a ‘proliferation of false flag operations, propaganda stunts and Russian news outlets carrying fictitious allegations’.

Social media specialists have debunked a number of movies put out by Moscow by analysing embedded knowledge. 

For instance, footage of a automobile allegedly loaded with explosives to assault Ukrainians fleeing to Russia had knowledge exhibiting it had been filmed in 2019. 

Ukraine has even accused Russia of taking corpses from morgues to make use of in incidents of faux assaults blamed on Kiev. 

Moscow claimed yesterday it had killed five Ukrainian ‘saboteurs’ who allegedly crossed the border to stage an assault

Another video, launched by the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic on February 18, claimed ‘Polish saboteurs’ had been planning to explode a tank. 

Bellingcat’s Higgins found the audio matched one other video uploaded to YouTube in 2010. 

Christo Grozev, Bellingcat’s govt director, tweeted: ‘If you’re questioning if [the] Kremlin’s poorly executed battle propaganda works on its home viewers: sadly, it does.

‘Have been speaking to younger folks from Russia’s countryside. They are satisfied Ukraine is shelling.’ 

Referring to the video of the person pretending his leg had been blown off, analyst Oliver Alexander mentioned: ‘The propaganda is reaching loopy ranges.’ 

UK well being secretary Sajid Javid mentioned this morning that Russia has invaded Ukraine.

A column of armoured autos was noticed in Donetsk, the principle metropolis of one of the 2 so-called ‘republics’, in the early hours of this morning. 

A tank drives alongside a avenue after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the deployment of Russian troops to 2 breakaway areas in japanese Ukraine

A tank, believed to be Russian, is noticed on a avenue close to town of Donetsk in separatist-held areas of japanese Ukraine

A navy truck drives alongside a avenue after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the deployment of Russian troops

No insignia had been seen on the autos, however there’s little doubt they’re Russian forces deployed on Putin’s orders. 

‘We are waking as much as a really darkish day in Europe,’ Javid mentioned early Tuesday. ‘We have seen that Putin has recognised breakaway japanese areas in Ukraine and from the stories we are able to already inform that he has despatched in tanks and troops. From that you may conclude that the invasion of Ukraine has begun.’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, talking moments later, mentioned a ‘first barrage of UK financial sanctions in opposition to Russia’ might be revealed at the moment – although stopped brief of calling final evening’s transfer an ‘invasion’, saying as a substitute that Putin is ‘bent on a full scale invasion.’

Before Putin’s order, world leaders together with Joe Biden and Johnson had made it clear that any Russian incursion, irrespective of how restricted, into Ukrainian territory can be thought-about a contemporary invasion and spark an unprecedented flurry of sanctions. But the phrase ‘invasion’ was barely talked about in a single day and motion was restricted.

Biden banned all new US commerce with the breakaway areas however stopped far brief of the ‘swift and decisive’ response that had been threatened. White House spokesman Jen Psaki promised extra sanctions will comply with later.

US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield leads worldwide condemnation of Russia at an emergency session of the UN safety council convened in New York after he recognised components of japanese Ukraine as unbiased

Russian President Vladimir Putin indicators a doc recognising the independence of separatist areas in japanese Ukraine in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on Monday

Josep Borrell, the EU’s international coverage chief, additionally averted the phrase as he vowed sanctions in opposition to Russia at the moment – acknowledging ‘Russian troops are on Ukrainian soil’ however including: ‘I would not say that is a totally fledged invasion’. 

Even Volodymyr Zelensky, president of Ukraine, averted it in a 2am deal with to the nation, talking as a substitute of a ‘violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine’.

General Sir Richard Sherriff, Britain’s former prime NATO commander, was extra forthcoming – telling the BBC: ‘This is the invasion of a sovereign nation which may flip right into a catastrophic battle with warfare on a scale not seen in Europe since 1945. I feel it’s tough to overstate the seriousness of the state of affairs.’

Ukraine international Minister Dmytro Kuleba, talking this morning, demanded ‘harsh’ penalties for Russia’s actions.

Eyes will now be on the japanese frontlines to see precisely how far Putin is prepared to check the West’s resolve. In recognising Donetsk and Luhansk as unbiased, it was not clear whether or not he meant the components presently occupied by separatist troops or the broader areas, which may imply rolling troops right into a a lot bigger piece of territory.

There are additionally sturdy doubts about whether or not Putin will cease at recognising the 2 ‘republics’. 

In an nerve-jangling 65 minute speech to the Russian nation earlier than signing his order, the strongman chief appeared to be laying out a case for seizing the entire of Ukraine – arguing it has no historical past of statehood, was ‘created by Lenin’, is a corrupt US and NATO vassal, and has been straight threatening Russia’s safety.

Ukraine has been preventing separatists since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula after avenue protests in Kyiv overthrew a pro-Moscow president.

More than 14,000 folks have already died in the preventing.

Kyiv’s Western allies have warned in latest weeks of an escalation in the battle with Russia massing greater than 150,000 troops round Ukraine.

The southern Rostov area, the place the FSB mentioned the shelling befell, declared a state of emergency final week over an anticipated inflow of civilians from the rebel-controlled territories.

What did Vladimir Putin say in his speech? 

ON DONBASS

‘Those who launched into the trail of violence, bloodshed, lawlessness didn’t acknowledge and don’t acknowledge every other resolution to the Donbass subject, aside from the navy one. In this regard, I think about it essential to take an extended overdue determination to instantly acknowledge the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic. I ask the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation to assist this determination, after which to ratify the treaties of friendship and mutual help with particular person republics. These two paperwork might be ready and signed in the very close to future. And from those that seized and maintain energy in Kyiv, we demand a direct cessation of hostilities.

‘Otherwise, all duty for the attainable continuation of the bloodshed might be completely on the conscience of the regime ruling on the territory of Ukraine. Announcing the choices taken at the moment, I’m assured in the assist of the residents of Russia. Of all of the patriotic forces of the nation.’

ON UKRAINE MEMBERSHIP OF NATO

‘If Ukraine was to hitch NATO it would function a direct risk to the safety of Russia.’

ON ORIGINS OF MODERN UKRAINE

‘Modern Ukraine was completely created by Russia, extra exactly, Bolshevik, communist Russia. This course of started instantly after the revolution of 1917…

‘As a consequence of Bolshevik coverage, Soviet Ukraine arose, which even at the moment can with good cause be known as ‘Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s Ukraine’. He is its writer and architect. This is absolutely confirmed by archive paperwork… And now grateful descendants have demolished monuments to Lenin in Ukraine. This is what they name decommunisation. Do you need decommunisation? Well, that fits us simply superb. But it is pointless, as they are saying, to cease midway. We are prepared to indicate you what actual decommunisation means for Ukraine.’

ON UKRAINIAN STATEHOOD

‘Ukraine by no means had a convention of real statehood.’

ON BREAK-UP OF USSR

‘Russia assumed obligations to repay the complete Soviet debt in return for the newly unbiased states giving up half of their international belongings. In 1994, such agreements had been reached with Ukraine, however they weren’t ratified by Ukraine…

‘(Ukraine) most popular to behave in such a means that in relations with Russia they’d all of the rights and benefits, however didn’t bear any obligations…

‘From the very first steps they started to build their statehood on the denial of every thing that unites us. They tried to distort the consciousness, the historic reminiscence of hundreds of thousands of folks, whole generations dwelling in Ukraine.’

ON NATO’S 2008 MEMBERSHIP PROMISE TO UKRAINE AND GEORGIA

‘Many European allies of the United States already completely understood all of the dangers of such a prospect, however had been pressured to come back to phrases with the need of their senior associate. The Americans merely used them to hold out a pronounced anti-Russian coverage. A quantity of member states of the alliance are nonetheless very skeptical concerning the look of Ukraine in NATO. 

‘At the identical time, we’re receiving a sign from some European capitals, saying what are you frightened about, this won’t occur actually tomorrow. Yes, in truth, our American companions are additionally speaking about this. Well, we answer, if not tomorrow, so the day after tomorrow. What does this variation in a historic perspective? Basically, nothing. Moreover, we all know the position and phrases of the U.S. management that energetic hostilities in japanese Ukraine don’t exclude the chance of this nation becoming a member of NATO if it can meet the standards of the North Atlantic alliance and defeat corruption. At the identical time, they attempt to persuade us over and over that NATO is a peace-loving and purely defensive alliance, saying that there aren’t any threats to Russia. Again they suggest that we take them at their phrase. But we all know the true worth of such phrases.’

ON THREATS TO RUSSIA

‘We clearly perceive that underneath such a state of affairs, the extent of navy threats to Russia will dramatically enhance many instances over. I pay particular consideration to the truth that the hazard of a sudden strike in opposition to our nation will enhance many instances over. Let me clarify that U.S. strategic planning paperwork include the chance of a so-called preemptive strike in opposition to enemy missile programs. And who’s the principle enemy for the U.S. and NATO? We know that too. It’s Russia. In NATO paperwork, our nation is formally and straight declared the principle risk to North Atlantic safety. And Ukraine will function a ahead springboard for the strike. If our ancestors had heard about it, they most likely would merely not have believed it. And at the moment we do not wish to consider it, however it’s true.’

ON SANCTIONS

‘They try to blackmail us once more. They are threatening us once more with sanctions, which, by the way in which, I feel they’ll introduce anyway as Russia’s sovereignty strengthens and the ability of our armed forces grows. And a pretext for an additional sanctions assault will all the time be discovered or fabricated. Regardless of the state of affairs in Ukraine. There is just one aim – to restrain the event of Russia. And they’ll do it, as they did earlier than. Even with none formal pretext in any respect. Just as a result of we exist, and we are going to by no means compromise our sovereignty, nationwide pursuits and our values. I wish to say clearly and straight that in the present state of affairs, when our proposals for an equal dialogue on elementary points have truly remained unanswered by the United States and NATO, when the extent of threats to our nation is growing considerably, Russia has each proper to take retaliatory measures to make sure its personal safety. That is strictly what we are going to do.’