What other false flag operations
can the Kremlin launch against Ukraine?
The Russian Federation continues its disinformation efforts to undermine Ukraine’s defense and the international support for Kyiv. There are several areas where Kremlin has focused its malicious campaigns.
One such campaign is to spread the false narrative on the development of biological or chemical weapons in secret labs in Ukraine sponsored by the United States. As usual, no proof or evidence. And no word about notifying the secretariats of the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention, of which Russia is a part. Yet, two Russian ministries, foreign affairs and defense, issued statements by spokeswoman Maria Zakharova and spokesman Igor Konashenkov, made claims about plans to attack Russia by spreading anthrax and other diseases.
This topic is not new. Russia has been socializing this narrative since the beginning of the war on Donbas. It also used to blame the USA for creating Coronavirus which has been eagerly supported by the Chinese propaganda.
Russia planted this false narrative in Syria. It blamed the Syrian opposition to Assad for using chemical weapons while bombing cities with chlorine.
Such an approach could be applied by the Kremlin in Ukraine because their attacks with the conventional military have gained very limited success so far. Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, agrees with this point of view. According to her, the Russian claims that the U.S. was developing chemical weapons in Ukraine could be a pretext for Moscow to use such weapons itself. “It’s the kind of disinformation operation we’ve seen repeatedly from the Russians over the years in Ukraine and in other countries,” Ms. Psaki wrote recently. Russians “have been debunked, and an example of the types of false pretexts we have been warning the Russians would invent.” She added that “We should all be on the lookout for Russia to possibly use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, or to create a false flag operation using them. It’s a clear pattern.”
According to Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, the Russian claims that the U.S. was developing chemical weapons in Ukraine could be a pretext for Moscow to use such weapons itself. “It’s the kind of disinformation operation we’ve seen repeatedly from the Russians over the years in Ukraine and in other countries,”
Disturbingly, this misinformation campaign is coordinated with China. Liu Pengyu, the spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in the US, alleged recently that the US has 26 bio labs and other related facilities in Ukraine.
The US Departments of Stata and Defense also denied these Russian claims. “There are no US chemical or biological weapons labs in Ukraine,” State Department spokesman Ned Price wrote on Twitter. Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs & Pentagon Press Secretary in his recent press briefing on March 10 stated that the US is not developing biological or chemical weapons inside Ukraine. “This is textbook Russian propaganda” – he told to the journalists. The US is in full compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention “and does not develop or possess such weapons anywhere,” Ms. Psaki wrote, before saying Russia has a documented record of using chemical weapons. For example, one could remember the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in the city of Salisbury, United Kingdom. According to UK sources and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), they were poisoned by means of a Novichok nerve agent.
On the other hand, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy told on March, 10 “I am the president of an adequate country and an adequate people. I am the father of two children. No chemical or any other weapons of mass destruction have been developed on my land.”
The second narrative pushed by Kremlin is: Russia may plan to shoot down civilian aircraft and blame it on Ukraine. One of the markers of this activity could be a message in Twitter, written by Maria Zakharova, spokesperson of Russian MFA, in which she told that Western countries should stop “flooding of the unviable Kyiv regime with the latest weapons system in order to avoid enormous risk to international civilian aviation”. The possible goal of such a false flag operation could be to break international solidarity towards Ukraine.
But the most horrifying could be a provocation or even a terrorist act on the two nuclear power plants, Chornobyl and Energodar. Right now both nuclar power plants are occupied by the Russian forces, the personnel could not fulfill their duties in full, and all the systems are disconnected from the IAEA monitoring. Chornobyl plant is out of electricity, and its nuclear security system could work autonomously only for 48 hours. According to the Ukrainian Defense Intelligence, Russians could even conduct sabotage in these power plants and later to blame Ukraine for not managing them.