Russia boasted of deal with UAE, Egypt had plans to supply Putin with arms: latest revelations from the bombshell US intel leak
- ‘We don’t know who’s behind this, we don’t know what the motive is,’ said Kirby
- The documents, which were leaked online in the last month, suggest the U.S. has a better grasp on Russia’s war strategy than ally Ukraine’s
- Reveal how Ukraine’s S-300 air defense systems could run out of missiles and ammunition by May 2 — potentially giving Putin the opportunity to strike by air
U.S. spies caught Russia boasting of a new alliance with oil-rich United Arab Emirates, according to purported Pentagon documents released in a wide-ranging leak.
Russian intelligence officers had said they had convinced the UAE ‘to work together against US and UK intelligence agencies,’ according to documents viewed by the Associated Press.
The Emirati government on Monday dismissed any accusation that the UAE had deepened ties with Russian intelligence as ‘categorically false.’
But the report comes at a time of concerns that the U.S. is ceding influence in the Middle East to adversaries like China and Russia. Just last month China brokered a surprise peace deal with Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Other leaked documents revealed U.S. ally Egypt was prepping to ship arms to Russia.
Egypt, one of the U.S.’s closest allies and a recipient of close to $100 billion in U.S. aid over the last 50 years, recently ordered around 40,000 rockets to be secretly shipped to Russia.
Egypt, one of the U.S.’s closest allies and a recipient of close to $100 billion in U.S. aid over the last 50 years, recently ordered around 40,000 rockets to be secretly shipped to Russia
A portion of the top secret Feb. 17 document contained purported conversations with President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi of Egypt and senior military officials referencing plans to also supply Russia with artillery rounds and gun powder, according to the Washington Post.
Sisi instructed officials to keep the production and shipment under wraps ‘to avoid problems with the West.’
The document was part of a trove of images of secret and top secret files posted on February and March on gamer chat app Discord.
Egypt has remained neutral throughout the Russia-Ukraine conflict of the past year.
A U.S. official said U.S. intelligence is ‘not aware of any execution’ of the plan for Egypt to sell arms to Russia.
In response to questions about the document, Ambassador Ahmed Abu Zeid, spokesman for Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said that ‘Egypt’s position from the beginning is based on noninvolvement in this crisis and committing to maintain equal distance with both sides, while affirming Egypt’s support to the U.N. charter and international law in the U.N. General Assembly resolutions.’
‘We continue to urge both parties to cease hostilities and reach a political solution through negotiations,’ he said.
Meanwhile, the White House admitted Monday it does not know whether more Pentagon documents about the U.S.’s secret foreign operations will leak.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters that an investigation is ongoing, and as of now, they have few answers as to how a large cache of highly classified Pentagon documents that appear to detail classified information got out.
The documents reveal how Ukraine’s S-300 air defense systems could run out of missiles and ammunition by May 2 at the current usage rate have appeared online in recent days.
The documents also detailed how Ukraine’s air defenses protecting Ukrainian troops on the front line could be ‘completely reduced’ by May 23 and suggested the U.S. has a better grasp on Russia’s war strategy than ally Ukraine’s.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters that an investigation is ongoing
Ukraine’s air defenses could be depleted within weeks – making the country vulnerable to Russia President Vladimir Putin’s fighter jets, newly leaked Pentagon documents suggests
Kirby was asked if the Pentagon was bracing for further leaks. ‘The truth and the honest answer to your question is: We don’t know,’ he said. ‘And is that a matter of concern to us? You’re darn right it is.’
‘We don’t know who’s behind this, we don’t know what the motive is,’ he added. Kirby said that as officials went through documents posted online, at least some appeared to be ‘doctored.’
Kirby made a futile attempt at urging reporters not to report on the content of the classified documents.
‘This is information that has no business in the public domain,’ he said firmly. ‘It has no business … on the front pages of newspapers or on television.’
The Justice Department has now launched a criminal investigation into the possible release of the ‘Top Secret’ documents, which mainly pertain to the state of the Ukraine war.
An initial batch of documents labeled ‘Secret’ and ‘Top Secret’ – reportedly containing charts on the war in Ukraine as well as the strengths of different battalions – first circulated on Twitter and Russian Telegram channels last month.
And a further batch of documents of more than 100 Pentagon documents – this time also detailing US national security interests about areas including China and Israel’s Mossad spy agency – was being shared on Twitter on Friday, the New York Times reported.
The authenticity of the documents remains in question as experts suggest they could have been altered or used as a misinformation campaign to suit Russia’s agenda, including reduced casualty counts.
Under the ‘Total Assessed Losses section,’ one document lists 16,000-17,500 Russian casualties and up to 71,000 Ukrainian deaths. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said publicly last November that Russia has lost ‘well over’ 100,000 soldiers, and Ukraine had lost about that many also. And those estimates have continued to climb in recent months, although officials have stopped providing more exact numbers.
‘We’re worried that these documents are out there … They shouldn’t be out there, period,’ Kirby said in Monday’s briefing.
The leaks also suggested Mossad, the national intelligence agency of Israel, secretly encouraged protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his planned judicial reforms last month. Netanyahu’s office, which oversees the Mossad, denies the claim.
Such closely-guarded information could be of great use to Russian forces, and Ukraine said its president Volodymyr Zelensky and top security officials met to discuss ways to prevent leaks
The document said the U.S. learned this through signals intelligence, suggesting the United States had been spying on one of its most important allies in the Middle East.
In a statement on Sunday, Netanyahu’s office described the assertion as ‘mendacious and without any foundation whatsoever.’
Another document gave details of internal discussions among senior South Korean officials about U.S. pressure on Seoul to help supply weapons to Ukraine, and its policy of not doing so.
The office of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said on Monday that fact checks on the documents are a priority and that it would request the U.S. to take ‘appropriate’ steps after confirming details.
Yoon’s office said the possibility that the documents were fabricated or a product of third-party interference cannot be ruled out, warning any attempts to ‘disrupt the alliance would face repercussions’.
Intelligence agencies are believed to have comprehensively infiltrated Russia’s military and its leading spy agencies, offering considerable knowledge of upcoming maneuvers and insights into how badly Putin’s war is going.
But the same cannot be said for Ukraine, according to the New York Times. The paper reported, ‘ The United States has a clearer understanding of Russian military operations than it does of Ukrainian planning.’
US officials have allegedly resorted to spying on Ukraine itself to try and get an idea of their military plans — including spying on Zelensky himself.
One of the documents, dated February 23 and marked ‘Secret,’ outlines in detail how Ukraine’s S-300 air defense systems would be depleted by May 2 at the current usage rate. Such closely guarded information could be of use to Russian forces.
In the early days of the war, Ukraine relied on the these air defense weapons – S-300 and the Buk to target aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles – which make up 89 percent of Ukraine’s protection against fighter aircraft.
These are two of the leaked documents which have been shared by the New York Times
One of the documents, dated February 23 and marked ‘Secret,’ outlines in detail how Ukraine’s S-300 air defense systems would be depleted by May 2 at the current usage rate
This allowed Ukraine to focus on battling against Putin’s ground troops, who have faced heavy losses since the war began. But the Russian despot has held his air force of 485 fighter jets back – far more than the 85 Ukraine has in its military.
Russia’s fleet also includes far more sophisticated fifth generation planes including the Su-57, while Ukraine’s pilots have to make do with MiG-29s, which first flew in 1983.
If Ukraine can no longer defend its skies, Putin could ramp up fighter jet attacks on Zelensky’s forces, dramatically tilting the 15 month-long conflict in his favor.
The Pentagon has not addressed the contents of any specific documents, including the apparent surveillance of allies.
Two U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that while there was concern about the leak at the Pentagon and intelligence agencies, the documents showed a snapshot in time from more than a month ago, rather than more recent assessments.
The two officials said the military and intelligence agencies were looking at their processes for how widely some of the intelligence is shared internally.
One U.S. official said the initial documents resemble data produced daily by the Joint Staff, although some numbers are wrong.
The trove of leaked Pentagon documents suggests the US knows far more about Russia’s war campaign than Ukraine’s – despite funding the latter to the tune of $200 billion.
A villager collects wood during heavy fighting at the front line of Bakhmut and Chasiv Yar
Pictured: A villager is seen near a wracked car during heavy fighting at the front line of Bakhmut and Chasiv Yar, in Chasiv Yar, Ukraine in April 2023
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