“I don’t know that there’s been a video produced yet, if that’s what you mean, but we certainly have intelligence that indicates that this is something they’re thinking about doing. I don’t know that they’ve actually created it yet, but we know that they’re thinking about doing it as just one of the other things that we know they’re trying to do to create a pretext for an invasion,” Kirby responded.
The United States has intelligence that Russia is likely to “fabricate” a pretext for an invasion of Ukraine, the Pentagon said Thursday. The Washington Post on Thursday morning first reported that Russia has developed a plan to create a pretext for a Ukraine invasion by falsely pinning an attack on Ukrainian forces. The U.S. believes “Russia would produce a very graphic propaganda video” to serve as justification to move forces into Ukraine.
Co-host Dana Perino then questioned Kirby on the proximity of Russia’s military buildup in Ukraine to the U.S.’s turbulent withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“Is there a connection there, that Putin made a calculation seeing how we left in Afghanistan and his thinking about how the U.S. might respond this time?” she asked.
“I don’t think we’ve seen that,” responded Kirby. “I don’t know that there’s a connection there.”
Kirby’s comments came after the U.S. announced it will deploy 3,000 more troops to Romania, Poland and Germany.
Last week, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin put 8,500 U.S. troops on heightened preparedness, as President Biden and his national security officials weighed where to send troops in Eastern Europe to aid Ukraine as part of a broader NATO effort, while Putin threatened incursion.
The 3,000 troops include 2,000 from 82nd Airborne Division and 18th Airborne Corps, based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and 1,000 who are currently based in Germany. The troops from Germany will deploy to Romania, the 82 Airborne soldiers will go to Poland, and the 18th Airborne forces will go to Germany.
The Pentagon, on Wednesday, said the forces “are not going to fight in Ukraine,” but instead would “ensure a robust defense of our NATO allies.”
There are already approximately 900 U.S. troops in Romania.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report.