Versions of documents dating back to March 1 on assessments of Ukraine’s military strength and what Ukraine is expected to need before the offensive have surfaced on Twitter and Telegram, a messaging app with wide reach in Russia. The documents do not include battle plans or a date for when the push against Russia is expected to begin, but they contain a wealth of other information that had not been made public, according to The New York Times.
“We are aware of the reports of social media posts and the department is reviewing the matter,” said Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh.
Since the war between Russia and Ukraine broke out last year, intelligence sharing between the United States and Ukraine has increased substantially. The documents that have appeared online, if authentic, represent a serious intelligence breach that could harm that intelligence sharing relationship.
Some of the documents appear altered to show the number of Ukrainian casualties much higher and Russian casualties much lower, according to the Times. The documents also include some information that has never been made public before, such as the Ukrainian military’s burn rate of HIMARS munitions, supplied to Ukraine by the U.S. military.
The documents have been widely viewed and shared by Russian military bloggers and analysts.
Mykhailo Podolyak, the adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, on Telegram blamed Russia for the leak while at the same time asserted that the documents floating around online are fake.
The documents have “nothing to do with Ukraine’s real plans” and are based on “a large amount of fictitious information,” Podolyak wrote, according to CNN.
“Russia is looking for any way to seize the information initiative, to try to influence the scenario plans for Ukraine’s counteroffensive,” he said. “To raise doubts, compromise previous ideas and frighten with their ‘awareness.’ But these are just standard elements of the Russian intelligence’s operational game and nothing more. It has nothing to do with Ukraine’s real plans.”
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov did not comment on the authenticity of the documents that have appeared online, but told CNN: “We don’t have the slightest doubt about direct or indirect involvement of the United States and NATO in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.”
“This level of involvement is rising, is rising gradually,” he said. “We keep our eye on this process. Well, of course, it makes the whole story more complicated, but it cannot influence the final outcome of the special operation.”
The purported document leak comes as Russia’s tensions with the U.S. and Europe have been ramping up. Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia would be moving tactical nuclear weapons to storage facilities in neighboring Belarus, partly in response to the U.K.’s decision to send armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium to Ukraine.