More than 100 classified documents have been leaked on various social media sites according to a report from the New York Times. On Friday, documents containing American national security secrets about Ukraine, the Middle East, and China were published on Twitter, Telegram, and other sites and some of the documents in the leak were detailed operations plans such as maps and delivery schedules as well as troop strength numbers for the Ukraine Military.
A senior intelligence official said the leak is "a nightmare" for the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand, five countries that share intelligence. The Pentagon confirmed that the documents are authentic, although some appear to have been altered, specifically data reflecting an increased casualty rate for the Ukraine Army and a decreased rate for the Russian Army.
According to officials, the doctored images show that estimates of casualties for the Ukraine Army to be higher than more credible reports, and the Russian Army to be lower. Ukraine officials claim this to be a way to discredit their counteroffensive and demoralize their troops.
On the other side, one Russian Blogger claimed the leak could be an attempt by "Western intelligence" to "mislead our command."
Ukraine Commander Lt. Col. Yurii Bereza pointed out how important the information war is in this conflict. He said "We are at a state of the war when the information war is sometimes even more important than the direct physical clashes at the front," and in regard to all the misinformation he stated "we can no longer determine where is the truth and where is the lie."
Former senior Pentagon Official Mick Mulroy said "there are a lot of examples of leaked documents being used in propaganda campaigns." He also noted that there has "been an uptick" in leaked documents during this conflict, more "than any other conflict."
At the time of the report officials were rushing to determine who had access to the leaked files, in an effort to determine the source of the leak. They didn't believe the leak came from Ukraine officials, as they did not have access to the plans with the Joint Staff imprint on them. One source noted to the Times that there is a concern that this could be the start of a "steady drip of classified information.
According to the report there were also classified slides pertaining to China, The Indo-Pacific military theater, the Middle East and terrorism. Which Mulroy says was done by "someone that wished to damage the Ukraine, US, and NATO Efforts."The Justice Department has stated it has opened an investigation alongside the Defense Department but had no further comment.
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