According to a source close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, parts of Ukraine’s military preparations for a much-touted counter-offensive have been altered as a result of a leak of confidential US documents, US-based news channel CNN said on Monday.
The supposedly leaked documents, according to Ukrainian officials who spoke to British news agency Reuters on Friday, contained false information and appeared to be the product of a Russian misinformation campaign.
The source of a leak of sensitive data covering a variety of subjects, from Ukraine’s air defences to Israel’s Mossad spy organization, is being investigated by US officials.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a presidential assistant, responded that Ukraine’s overarching goals remained the same but that more detailed tactical plans were always susceptible to change when asked about the CNN claim. According to him, there are strategic tasks that cannot be changed.
However, he added, “operational and tactical scenarios are constantly refined, based on an assessment of the situation on the battlefield, resource provision, intelligence data on the enemy’s resources, etc.”
He also said that plans can’t currently be revised because they are still being developed.
“We are working on our own plans…”, according to Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, who spoke to Reuters. “The opinion of people who have nothing to do with this do not interest us…The circle of people who possess information is extremely restricted.”
According to some experts, Americans could be the leak’s source.
As many of the records were only in American hands, Michael Mulroy, a former senior Pentagon officer, told Reuters in an interview that “the focus is now on this being a US leak.”
What these documents contain?
Many discuss the conflict in Ukraine. One provides information on the state of the conflict as of early March, including details on Russian and Ukrainian losses, while others go into detail on the circumstances on particular fronts, like the city of Bakhmut, which has been the site of intense fighting.
One shows specifics on international attempts to strengthen Kyiv’s armed forces, while gives information about Ukrainian air defences, which have been essential in fending off Russian missile and drone strikes.
Some, for instance, refer to US spying on its allies, citing a report claiming that officials of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service encouraged domestic demonstrations against a contentious plan for judicial reform that would have given lawmakers a significant increase in influence over the Supreme Court.