Contradicting narratives on the leaked American documents

Contradicting narratives on the leaked American documents

This has been a bizarre 24 hours. 

We had the revelation, first by Hal Turner and then on Twitter (I found it from Kim Dotcom).

We had a panicked reaction from the western media, saying this is a nightmare for the Five Eyes,”and the tip of the iceberg.” and blaming it on “Russian disinformation”.

Now, I come across articles this morning flipping the narrative and now saying “spies are deeply ingrained in Russian intelligence services and Putin’s army is ravaged after a year of fighting”.

I would expect anything from western media but what really blew me over was the reaction from “our” side.

I went looking for comment from the two Alex’s on the Duran but what I found was SILENCE.

As of yesterday this seems to be by-and-large what western media was saying:
  • This leak could be hugely damaging and “a nightmare for the Five Eyes,” and what has emerged so far as the “tip of the iceberg.”
  • A photo showing lower casualty numbers for Russia, and higher ones for Ukraine, than reported figures has been discussed far more frequently in Western-oriented social media than in Russian-focused platforms is doctored and a result of “Russian disinformation tactic to alter stolen documents”
  • As of late yesterday, the number of documents has now increased and the trove also includes sensitive briefing slides on China, the Indo-Pacific military theater, the Middle East and terrorism.

Here are some of the articles:

New Batch of Classified Documents Appears on Social Media Sites

WASHINGTON — A new batch of classified documents that appear to detail American national security secrets from Ukraine to the Middle East to China surfaced on social media sites on Friday, alarming the Pentagon and adding turmoil to a situation that seemed to have caught the Biden administration off guard.

The scale of the leak — analysts say more than 100 documents may have been obtained — along with the sensitivity of the documents themselves, could be hugely damaging, U.S. officials said. A senior intelligence official called the leak “a nightmare for the Five Eyes,” in a reference to the United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, the so-called Five Eyes nations that broadly share intelligence.

The latest documents were found on Twitter and other sites on Friday, a day after senior Biden administration officials said they were investigating a potential leak of classified Ukrainian war plans, include an assessment of Ukraine’s air defense capabilities. One slide, dated Feb. 23, is labeled “Secret/NoForn,” meaning it was not meant to be shared with foreign countries.

Mick Mulroy, a former senior Pentagon official, said the leak of the classified documents represents “a significant breach in security” that could hinder Ukrainian military planning. “As many of these were pictures of documents, it appears that it was a deliberate leak done by someone that wished to damage the Ukraine, U.S., and NATO efforts,” he said.

One analyst described what has emerged so far as the “tip of the iceberg.”

Early Friday, senior national security officials dealing with the initial leak, which was first reported by The New York Times, said a new worry had arisen: Was that information the only intelligence that was leaked?

By Friday afternoon, they had their answer. Even as officials at the Pentagon and national security agencies were investigating the source of documents that had appeared on Twitter and on Telegram, another surfaced on 4chan, an anonymous, fringe message board. The 4chan document is a map that purports to show the status of the war in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, the scene of a fierce, monthslong battle.

But the leaked documents appear to go well beyond highly classified material on Ukraine war plans. Security analysts who have reviewed the documents tumbling onto social media sites say the increasing trove also includes sensitive briefing slides on China, the Indo-Pacific military theater, the Middle East and terrorism.

The Pentagon said in a statement on Thursday that the Defense Department was looking into the matter. But privately, officials in several national security agencies acknowledged both a rush to find the source of the leaks and a potential for what one official said could be a steady drip of classified information posted on sites.

The documents on Ukraine’s military appear as photographs of charts of anticipated weapons deliveries, troop and battalion strengths, and other plans. Pentagon officials acknowledge that they are legitimate Defense Department documents, but the copies appear to have been altered in certain parts from their original format. The modified versions, for example, overstate American estimates of Ukrainian war dead and underestimate estimates of Russian troops killed.

On Friday, Ukrainian officials and pro-war Russian bloggers suggested the leak was part of a disinformation effort by the other side, timed to influence Ukraine’s possible spring offensive to reclaim territory in the east and the south of the country.

A senior Ukrainian official said that the leak appeared to be a Russian ploy to discredit a counteroffensive. And the Russian bloggers warned against trusting any of the information, which one blogger said could be the work of “Western intelligence in order to mislead our command.”

Behind closed doors, chagrined national security officials were trying to find the culprit. One official said it was likely that the documents did not come from Ukrainian officials, because they did not have access to the specific plans, which bear the imprint of the offices of the Pentagon’s Joint Staff. A second official said that determining how the documents were leaked would start with identifying which officials had access to them.

The first tranche of documents appeared to have been posted in early March on Discord, a social media chat platform popular with video gamers, according to Aric Toler, an analyst at Bellingcat, the Dutch investigative site.

In Ukraine, Lt. Col. Yurii Bereza, a battalion commander with Ukraine’s National Guard whose forces have fought in the country’s east in recent months, shrugged off news of the leak.

He noted that information warfare had become so intense that “we can no longer determine where is the truth and where is the lie.”

“We are at that stage of the war when the information war is sometimes even more important than the direct physical clashes at the front,” Colonel Bereza said.

A soldier in his unit, Maksym, had yet to hear the news. “We have a lot of our own problems, and with this leak I have no words,” he said angrily.

Outside experts said it was difficult to draw conclusions about who released the information and why.

Kyle Walter, the head of research at Logically, a British firm that tracks disinformation, said many prominent voices on Russian Telegram channels were calling the original, apparently unaltered photo showing Russian and Ukrainian casualties a “Western influence” operation.

“They think the actual unedited photo where it shows high Russian loss numbers and relatively low Ukrainian loss numbers is an attempt to instill poor morale in Russia and Russian forces,” Mr. Walter said.

Jonathan Teubner, the chief executive of FilterLabs AI, which tracks messaging in Russia, said that while pro-Kremlin voices are saying the leak is an American or Ukrainian disinformation campaign, his lead analyst thinks it could be a Russian operation meant to sow distrust between Washington and Kyiv.

The doctored photo showing lower casualty numbers for Russia, and higher ones for Ukraine, than reported figures has been discussed far more frequently in Western-oriented social media than in Russian-focused platforms, Mr. Walter said.

It has been a frequent Russian disinformation tactic to alter stolen documents, including some purportedly leaked from the Ukrainian government, Mr. Walter said. But because Ukraine’s government has dismissed these documents as altered or out of context, they generally do not gain much traction, he added.

“There are a lot of examples of leaked documents being used in propaganda campaigns and specifically in terms of disinformation,” Mr. Walter said. But what is going on with these American documents, he added, “is still pretty unclear at the moment.”

The Ukraine war, Mr. Walter said, has had more document leaks than other conflicts, in part because of the role that open-source intelligence and declassified intelligence have played in the war.

“There’s definitely been an uptick, it’s happening more often, but that’s more indicative of just the environment we’re in rather than it being the tactic specific to the Ukraine war,” Mr. Walter said.

The post New Batch of Classified Documents Appears on Social Media Sites appeared first on New York Times.

Russia or pro-Russian elements are likely behind the leak of several classified US military documents posted on social media that offer a partial, month-old snapshot of the war in Ukraine, three US officials have told Reuters, while the Justice Department said separately it was probing the leak.

The documents appear to have been altered to lower the number of casualties suffered by Russian forces, the US officials said on Friday, adding their assessments were informal and separate from the investigation into the leak itself.

Pentagon probing leaked docs purporting to preview Ukraine offensive

The Pentagon announced Friday it is reviewing whether apparent US government documents that supposedly detailed highly classified plans for a spring military offensive by Ukrainian forces were leaked by pro-Russian social media accounts this week.

The following article is a translation from Ukrainska Pravda

Leak of US documents exposes Russians’ fear of a Ukrainian counteroffensive – ISW

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has said Russian milbloggers responded with speculative anxiety to the leaking of classified US and NATO military documents about the war in Ukraine, indicating continued fear over the prospect of a future Ukrainian counteroffensive

Over 100 More Classified Docs Appear Online: US Secrets ‘From Ukraine To Middle East To China’

A more expanded document dump and leak of highly classified materials is being reported in the wake of the initial disclosure that memos related to US strategy in the Ukraine war appeared online, including material marked “Top Secret”

This time the leak appears more expansive: “A new batch of classified documents that appear to detail American national security secrets from Ukraine to the Middle East to China surfaced on social media sites on Friday, alarming the Pentagon and adding turmoil to a situation that seemed to have caught the Biden administration off guard,” The New York Times reported Friday evening.

AP file image

“The scale of the leak — analysts say more than 100 documents may have been obtained — along with the sensitivity of the documents themselves, could be hugely damaging, U.S. officials said,” the report continues.

One senior intelligence official was quoted in the report as saying the leak is “a nightmare for the Five Eyes” – in reference to the intelligence-sharing nations of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Like the Ukraine war plans earlier reported on by the Times, some of these latest documents appeared on Twitter and other social media platforms, and they include reports labeled with one of the highest classification ratings of “Secret/NoForn” – which means they are sensitive enough to not be shared with even foreign allies. 

Interestingly, the NY Times notes that one intelligence slide which is circulating features “an alarming assessment of Ukraine’s faltering air defense capabilities.” But these leaks, some of which actually appeared on a Discord server devoted to discussing Minecraft and other unusual places, include more than the initial content on Ukraine war planning

But the leaked documents appear to go well beyond highly classified material on Ukraine war plans. Security analysts who have reviewed the documents tumbling onto social media sites say the increasing trove also includes sensitive briefing slides on China, the Indo-Pacific military theater, the Middle East and terrorism.

The report quotes one analyst who warns this is likely “the tip of the iceberg” and that more major leaks are coming, or possibly have already happened, in something which could begin to rival the ‘Pentagon Papers’ of the Vietnam war era.

A former senior Pentagon official, Mick Mulroy, was also quoted as saying this could possibly hinder Ukrainian military planning given that “many of these were pictures of documents” and thus “it appears that it was a deliberate leak done by someone that wished to damage the Ukraine, U.S., and NATO efforts.”

This assessment suggests a leak from inside allied forces, and not from a foreign adversary, even though US officials are accusing Russian-linked entities online of being the chief spreaders of the leaked documents. 

US officials are also warning that some of the documents may have been digitally altered to fit a more pro-Kremlin narrative, as we detailed earlier. Twitter has acknowledged that US officials are requesting that it act to scrub classified materials from the platform.

There’s growing concern that the leaks could be coming from within the Ukrainian military

Pentagon and US intelligence officials are also scrambling to discover the source of the leak in an ongoing investigation. Likely this is to result in greater scrutiny on Kiev and how its chain-of-command handles sensitive data shared from the Pentagon.

Now, this morning they have further massaged the leak overnight to say the documents “provided the clearest picture yet of the Kremlin’s depleted military capacity, were telling as to the extent to which US espionage tactics have effectively penetrated Vladimir Putin‘s war machine” while the figures that show that Ukrainian losses are ten times that of the Russians is a result of the Russians doctoring the pictures.

Leaked Pentagon documents show spies are deeply ingrained in Russian intelligence services and Putin’s army is ravaged after a year of fighting – but also reveal US is spying on its ALLIES including South Korea and Ukraine

  • A stunning document leak has revealed the depth of US spying efforts across the globe 
  • Intelligence reports leaked on social media indicate the Pentagon has been keeping close tabs on allied leaders and officials 

Leaked Pentagon docs show how deep US has compromised Russian intelligence

The documents, which surfaced on Twitter, Telegram, message board 4chan and elsewhere on Friday, contain warnings to US intelligence agencies ahead of Russian attacks in Ukraine and even include details about specific intended targets, The New York Times reported.

They also depict how the war has ravaged both sides in the conflict — illustrating a Russian military that is both compromised and depleted and a Ukrainian army low on air defense ammunition.



Surprisingly (at least to me) the Russian media seems to be casting doubt on the documents and may be “an attempt to distract Russia’s attention from what’s really going on” by the US Deep State in fact falsifying a leak to somehow put the wool over the eyes of the Russian security services.

Here is a selection:

This is an RT translation of an item from Telegram (which is in itself irregular)

Here’s why the leaked ‘secret plan’ for a Ukrainian military offensive doesn’t add up

The release looks like an attempt to distract Russia’s attention from what’s really going on

On Friday, photos appeared of a document allegedly containing details on a planned imminent Ukrainian offensive on territories controlled by Russia. The ‘leak’ coincided with suggestions that the NATO Defender 2023 exercises – planned for the end of this month – could be a cover for an operation to supply and support Ukrainian units. However, upon closer examination, doubts arise concerning the document’s authenticity.

When did it appear?

The supposed secret plans to support an offensive by Kiev’s forces hit the internet the day before Anthony Blinken made a statement on the subject. The US Secretary of State said the operation will begin “within a few weeks.” 

What information does it contain?

There hasn’t been a leak of this nature since Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine began, over 13 months ago. It is noteworthy that the published plans contain not only a schedule for supplying Ukrainian units with NATO weapons and ammunition, but also information about the structure of the brigades and battalions allegedly preparing for the offensive.

The document, dated March 1, says Kiev’s brigades need 253 tanks, more than 380 infantry fighting vehicles and APCs, 480 vehicles, 147 artillery pieces, and 571 HMMWV armored vehicles to carry out the offensive.

Which information is most suspect?  

The probable locations of Russian units, indicated on the combat map in red, appear to have been collected from open sources. Several pro-Kiev resources that track military operations contain almost identical information.

Also, the ratios of killed and wounded for the Ukrainian and Russian Armed Forces which initially appeared in these ‘secret plans’ have since been changed. When first posted, the losses for the Ukrainian side were underestimated at about 16,500 –17,000 people. Then (probably to be more realistic), they increased almost fivefold, up to 65,000 – 75,000. At the same time, the numbers given for Russia’s purported losses of vehicles and equipment coincide with data published by Kiev’s Ministry of Defense.

What else is wrong with the published AFU offensive plans?

The blatant falsification of data on the readiness of Ukrainian military formations catches the eye. The document states that, of the nine supposedly to be trained up to US and NATO standards by March 31 and April 30, five of Kiev’s brigades have had zero training: these are the 82nd Airborne, the 32nd, 117th, and 118th Territorial Defense, as well as the 21st separate mechanized.

Even if only two or three companies in these brigades were trained, and self-preparation wasn’t completed, their level of training couldn’t be zero. At the same time, the highest percentage of readiness was recorded only in the 47th mechanized(40%) and the 46th airborne assault (60%).

What’s the upshot?

The plan also gives perplexing figures for military equipment.

For example, out of 109 M2 Bradley BMPs sent to armed forces, for some reason only 99 are to participate in the offensive. Moreover, the vehicles are not distributed among the brigades and only assigned to one formation – Kiev’s 47th mechanized brigade, which doesn’t have heavy tanks.

Rather than Soviet T-72s or T-64BVs, this grouping has only Slovak T-55Ss with 105mm guns, which are difficult to use in a large-scale offensive.

The small, but important, errors and inaccuracies in the calculations of equipment, the adjusted accounting of losses, as well as the presence of units with ‘zero’ readiness, indicate that this document, which was issued as a ‘secret plan,’ was probably prepared and distributed not by the military but by a group of civilians, probably pro-Kiev analysts.

The purpose of this planted misinformation may be to underreport the actual number of combat-ready Ukrainian units to be deployed for the offensive or to distract attention from other events related to the real operation.

This article was first published by ‘Military Chronicle’ Telegram channel

Scott Ritter: US Document Leak ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

The provenance of the leaked information is unknown, and indeed there is reason to believe that some of the data has been manipulated to help shape public opinion regarding casualty figures for both Russia and Ukraine
It is highly unlikely that the Russian government was associated with the leak, given the way the documents appeared on the internet — initially downloaded onto a popular internet-based game, and subsequently picked up by an outlet affiliated with conspiracy theorists before being published on more mainstream outlets such as Twitter and Telegram.

A cursory examination of the contents of the documents reveals little that could not be ascertained through a careful evaluation of publicly released information….

— a competent Russian military intelligence officer would be able to produce similar documents when assessing the US/NATO/Ukrainian preparations for a spring counteroffensive.
the documents represent little more than an opportunity for a public feeding frenzy, underscoring the reality that this entire episode has more to do with helping shape public opinion than compromising potential future military operations
On the other hand he says:

If the source of the leak was within the US military, it would suggest that there are some who oppose the coming counteroffensive and believed that a compromise of sensitive information pertaining to preparations might help forestall this action. Others might believe that the chairman of the Joint Chef of Staff might be hesitating in giving a Ukrainian spring offensive the green light and sought to release the material to force General Milley’s hand.

Here is an interview by Jamarl Thomas on Sputnik with Mark Sleboda

‘Secret’ NATO War Plan for Ukraine Leaked Online

In the first hour, international relations and security analyst Mark Sleboda joined the Fault Lines team to talk about the documents leaked online that disclose alleged NATO war plans to build up Ukrainian forces against Russia.


This is what is being said on social media:

However, this is Gonzalo Lira:

And these are comments from Hal Turner as of yesterday:

This is all the fog of war and I must say I don’t particularly trust both sides.
Firstly, as usual, the western media repeats statements by “unnamed sources” and never reproduces the documents so people can see for themselves.
In short, they LIE.
Their reports are nothing more or less than state propaganda. 
Nothing that comes from the Ukrainian side can be taken at all seriously. 
As to the Russian side, we know that what they are saying about the military side of things is largely true as are the reports of the Duran, Scott Ritter, Col. McGregor and others are largely reliable.
However, it is what they don’t say that concerns me. The fact that this news has been out for 48 hours and there has been no word from them (at least in the titles of their videos) worries me. 
Either way – real or not – this is HUGE NEWS.
I have no way to independently verify the documents or where they came from. I am simply not equipped to do that – I have not seen the 100 documents referred to by the western media. Perhaps these documents have been released by western security to obfuscate the embarrassing leak.
Or not. They just TELL us what to believe without a skerrick of proof. That is their modus operandi.
What I can say for certain is that the figures that show Ukrainian casualties are TEN times that of the Russians are not doctored.
That much we do know. 
That there should be this information that completely contradicts the narrative of Ukraine and the West is a deep embarrassment.
No wonder they have to explain it away! 
I can’t speak to the rest what’s there but my inclination TODAY is to go with Kim Dotcom and Hal Turner say.
That could change of course.
There was a shorter, but very good discussion of these events on TruNews yesterday

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