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ISW: Alleged leak of classified war documents highlights Russians’ fear of upcoming Ukrainian counteroffensive
Russian military bloggers expressed concerns over the supposed classified war documents about Ukraine’s war effort recently leaked online, emphasizing the fear of the prospective counteroffensive, the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest update.
“While several prominent Russian milbloggers immediately rejected the validity of the documents and suggested that they are fakes, they fixated on the possibility that the released documents are disinformation intended to confuse and mislead Russian military command,” the ISW wrote.
The ISW suggested that the New York Times article detailing U.S. and NATO plans for supporting Ukraine “exposed a significant point of neuralgia in the Russian information space.”
The Pentagon started investigating who may have leaked the documents posted on Twitter and Telegram, the New York Times reported.
The documents are five weeks old and do not reveal when, how, or where Ukraine intends to launch its counteroffensive. According to military analysts, the documents were likely manipulated from their original format, reducing the casualties on the Russian side and inflating Ukrainian losses.
The analysts told the NYT that the changes made to the document could be part of a Russian disinformation campaign. Nonetheless, the leak is a “significant breach of American intelligence in the effort to aid Ukraine,” the NYT wrote.
Ukrainian intelligence dismissed the documents as fake.
“In recent decades, the most successful operations of the Russian special services took place in Photoshop,” Ukraine’s Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate spokesperson Andrii Yusov said on national television on April 7.