Classified war documents containing secret American and NATO plans to aid Ukraine in a planned offensive against Russian troops have been posted on social media channels, according to senior Biden administration officials.
The documents, which include anticipated weapons deliveries and troop and battalion strengths, do not provide specific battle plans, but military analysts say they offer many insights into American intelligence efforts to aid Ukraine.
Sabrina Singh, the deputy press secretary at the Pentagon, claimed “We are aware of the reports of social media posts and the department is reviewing the matter.”
Although some parts of the leaked documents appear to be authentic, analysts warn that they could provide valuable information to Russia, such as timetables for the delivery of weapons and troops, Ukrainian troop buildup numbers, and other military details.
According to a slide from the leaked documents, there was a discrepancy regarding the amount of casualties. Ukrainian troop deaths were estimated to be as high as 71,500, while Russian soldiers killed were estimated to be between 16,000 to 17,500. However, the Pentagon and other analysts believe that the actual number of casualties on both sides may be higher than the estimates mentioned in the documents. Russia is believed to have suffered closer to 200,000 killed and injured, while Ukraine has had more than 100,000 killed and injured.
The Pentagon is investigating the leak of the documents, which appeared on Twitter and Telegram.
It is unclear how the leak of these classified war documents occurred. Investigations are ongoing to determine who may have been responsible for the breach of security. However, it is possible that the leak occurred due to a security breach within the US military or intelligence agencies or that the documents were obtained by a foreign entity with access to American intelligence systems.
It is also possible that the documents were leaked intentionally as part of a disinformation campaign to mislead or confuse US and NATO officials. The investigations into the leak will likely involve analyzing the security protocols surrounding the handling of classified information and identifying potential vulnerabilities in those protocols.
The New York Times reported:
The documents do not provide specific battle plans, like how, when, and where Ukraine intends to launch its offensive, which American officials say is likely coming in the next month or so. And because the documents are five weeks old, they offer a snapshot of time — the American and Ukrainian view, as of March 1, of what Ukrainian troops might need for the campaign.
To the trained eye of a Russian war planner, field general or intelligence analyst, however, the documents no doubt offer many tantalizing clues and insights. The documents mention, for instance, the expenditure rate of HIMARS — American-supplied high mobility artillery rocket systems, which can launch attacks against targets like ammunition dumps, infrastructure and concentrations of troops, from a distance. The Pentagon has not said publicly how fast Ukrainian troops are using the HIMARS munitions; the documents do.