As images of drones being shot down from over the Kremlin hit social media and news sites, many people were in disbelief that such an invasion of the Russia air space had taken place. But speculation is growing over the true source of the drones.
The drone attack was blamed n Ukraine by Russia, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denying that his country was involved in the event. However, it has now been theorised that the incident was a so-called 'false flag operation' conducted by Russia.
Russian officials have made repeated unfounded claims throughout the war with Ukraine. Putin's officials previously claimed that they found evidence of biological weapons being made in the country, in addition to the shelling of a nursery in the Ukrainian Donbas region believed to be used as a pretext for the initial invasion.
But what exactly is a false flag operation?
What is a false flag operation?
A false flag operation is an undercover or covert operation carried out with the intentions of making it appear as though another group is responsible.
It can also include moves made by individuals or government organisations to undermine political opponents.
A false flag operation is often used to set a pretext for war or invasion, with a famous example being carried out by Adolf Hitler in 1939 ahead of the invasion of Poland.
During the incident, German attackers posed as Polish soldiers and staged an attack on a radio station leading to large part of the German population supporting the eventual invasion of their neighbours.
Why is Russia being accused of a false flag operation?
Before the invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and NATO General Secretary were among those to accuse Russia of using a false flag operation after a nursery was shelled by suspected Russian troops.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had previously accused Ukraine of committing “genocide” against the Russian-speaking population in the speraritist Donbas region.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said “the shelling of a kindergarten in Stanytsia Luhanska by pro-Russian forces is a big provocation”.
Now, Russian officials are claiming that they have evidence of chemical weapons being made in Ukraine, an accusation which the US and Ukraine have vehemently denied.
Instead, the West are accusing Russia of creating another potential false flag operation
Will Russia use a false flag operation to use chemical weapons in Ukraine?
The fears of the West and Ukraine is that Russia is accusing Ukraine of creating chemical weapons with the intention of creating an excuse for themselves to use such weapons in the future.
Russia had called an emergency meeting of the United Nations (UN) Security Council on 11 March to discuss the claims that they had evidence of chemical weapons being created in Ukraine.
Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, said that Russia had learnt of “at least 30” labs which were aiming to strengthen “lethal diseases”, adding that “very dangerous biological experiments” had taken place in coordination with the US.
US ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said: “Ukraine does not have a biological weapons programme.
“There are no Ukrainian biological weapons laboratories supported by the United States. Not near Russia’s border or anywhere”.
She added that US intelligence has suggested that Russia could be planning to use chemical weapons “for assassinations as part of a staged or false flag incident, or to support tactical military operations”.
Ms Thomas-Greenfield said: “It is Russian that has long maintained a biological weapon programme in violation of international law
“Russia is attempting to use the security council to legitimise disinformation and deceive people to justify President Putin’s war of choice against the Ukrainian people.”
The UN itself stated that they had no knowledge of any biological weapons programme in Ukraine.
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