Russia says US intel leaks may be fake, part of ‘hybrid war’ against Moscow

The leak of a trove of highly sensitive documents online could be a move by the United States to “deceive”, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying Wednesday.

Ryabkov told Russian news agencies that, for now, the leak threw up many questions.

“It’s probably interesting for someone to look at these documents if they are documents at all, or maybe they are fake, maybe this is a deliberate information dump,” Ryabkov said.

“It’s probably interesting for someone to look at these documents if they really are documents or they could be a fake or it could be an intentional leak.”

He said the United States is a “party to the (Ukraine) conflict” and is engaged in a “hybrid war” against Moscow, adding that “it is possible such things are being done to mislead the enemy – that is the Russian Federation.”

The Kremlin spokesman stated earlier on Wednesday that he did not know “like everyone else” how authentic the documents were. Peskov during a briefing said, “Like everyone else, we do not know the degree of credibility these documents have.”

“But even disregarding them, long before these documents appeared, we had and still have information that many fighters and instructors from NATO countries, including the United Kingdom, are taking part in combat operations.”

A series of documents, purporting to contain highly classified Pentagon intelligence related to the Ukraine war and information gathering on close US allies, have emerged online in recent weeks. Documents posted online appeared to reveal details of how US agencies spy on other nations, including allies.

The documents bear classified markings, with some labeled “top secret”, the highest level of classification, and appear to be briefing slides prepared by the US military’s chief of staff.

Some also contain the marking NOFORN, or “Not Releasable to Foreign Nationals”, meaning they cannot be shared with foreign intelligence agencies, including Five Eyes, the collection of spy agencies in the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, according to the New York Times.

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