Ukraine war: Pentagon boss after data leak: "Will turn every stone"

After the publication of explosive US information on the war in Ukraine, the US government is trying to clarify and try to calm its allies.

Ukraine war: Pentagon boss after data leak: "Will turn every stone"

After the publication of explosive US information on the war in Ukraine, the US government is trying to clarify and try to calm its allies.

"We will turn every stone until we find out the origin and extent of the incident," US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in Washington yesterday. Both he and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said they had spoken to their Ukrainian counterparts.

"Disclosure of sensitive and classified material"

Austin said he learned of the data breach last Thursday. "I was first briefed on the reports of the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive and classified material on the morning of April 6." Since then, he has consulted with senior staff at his ministry on a daily basis and taken immediate action. "We have referred the matter to the Justice Department, which has opened a criminal investigation." As long as the investigations were ongoing, he could not comment further. But he emphasized: "We take the matter very, very seriously."

Foreign Minister Blinken said he spoke to his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba yesterday. "In our conversation, among other things, I reiterated our continued support for Ukraine and its efforts to defend its territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence."

Apparently secret documents from US agencies on the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine have been circulating on the Internet for weeks. US media have been reporting sensitive material on both warring parties for days without publishing the documents themselves. It is unclear who published the documents that were circulated weeks ago on pro-Russian channels. The investigative network Bellingcat proved that some of them were subsequently manipulated.

It's about weapon deliveries and ammunition consumption

According to US media reports, the documents contain information on arms deliveries to Ukraine and information on ammunition consumption. There are also maps showing the course of the front and the locations of Russian and Ukrainian troops and their strength. There is also information about alleged plans by NATO and the USA on how the Ukrainian military could be prepared for a spring offensive.

A Pentagon spokesman said Monday the release of the documents posed a "very serious national security risk." The images that surfaced online were similar to documents used to brief senior executives on a daily basis about Ukraine and Russia-related operations, Pentagon spokesman Chris Meagher said. "Some of these images appear to have been altered."

He called for caution in distributing the content. The disclosure of sensitive classified information could "have a tremendous impact not only on our national security, but also lead to the loss of life".

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