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Pentagon Document Leaks Foreshadow a Long War in Ukraine

Pentagon Document Leaks Foreshadow a Long War in Ukraine
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, attend a virtual meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, March 15, 2023, at the Pentagon in Washington (AP photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool).

United States’ government officials were taken by surprise last week when classified U.S. intelligence documents revealing secret plans related to the Ukrainian military were leaked across social media channels. The documents, which officials are still learning about, are quite comprehensive, also detailing operations in the East China Sea and Israel. But most notably they lay out information about the widely anticipated “spring offensive” by Ukrainian forces.

Though they do not contain specific war plans, the documents do report Ukrainian combat brigade readiness; detail timelines of weapons and equipment deliveries—such as the U.S.-provided High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS; and show maps of the ground conditions in Eastern Ukraine.

Some Ukrainian officials claim the documents, which were leaked via Twitter and Telegram, are largely fake. Though the source has not yet been confirmed, 21-year-old Jack Teixeira, a member of Massachusetts Air National Guard and leader of a gaming chat group, has reportedly been accused of the leak. As Ukraine’s Defense Ministry spokesperson Andrii Yusov insisted, “in recent decades, the most successful operations of the Russian special services took place in Photoshop.” But outright denial of the documents’ authenticity is questionable, given that Pentagon officials are indeed taking the leak seriously.

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