Support Us

Classified US and NATO documents detailing preparations for Ukrainian offensive leaked on social media

Friday, 7 April 2023, 03:58
Classified US and NATO documents detailing preparations for Ukrainian offensive leaked on social media

The New York Times has reported that classified military documents "detailing secret American and NATO plans for building up the Ukrainian military ahead of a planned offensive against Russia" have been circulated on Twitter and Telegram.

Source: The New York Times, citing a senior Biden administration official

Details: According to the New York Times, the Pentagon is currently investigating who may have leaked the documents that appeared on social media.


Military analysts told the NYT that the documents appear to have been altered, overstating American estimates of Ukrainian losses and understating estimates of Russian losses. The analysts told the NYT that these modifications could indicate an effort by Moscow to spread disinformation.

Biden officials have been working to get the documents deleted from social media but had not, as of the evening of 6 April, succeeded.

"We are aware of the reports of social media posts and the department is reviewing the matter," said Sabrina Singh, the deputy press secretary at the Pentagon.

The NYT reported that the documents "do not provide specific battle plans, like how, when, and where Ukraine intends to launch its offensive" but "offer a snapshot of time — the American and Ukrainian view, as of March 1, of what Ukrainian troops might need for the campaign".

"To the trained eye of a Russian war planner, field general or intelligence analyst, however, the documents no doubt offer many tantalising clues and insights. The documents mention, for instance, the expenditure rate of HIMARS — American-supplied high mobility artillery rocket systems, which can launch attacks against targets like ammunition dumps, infrastructure and concentrations of troops, from a distance. The Pentagon has not said publicly how fast Ukrainian troops are using the HIMARS munitions; the documents do," the NYT wrote.

One of the documents said 16,000 to 17,500 Russian soldiers had been killed while Ukraine had lost up to 71,500 personnel. The Pentagon and other analysts have estimated, however, that Russia has suffered far more casualties, with closer to 200,000 killed and injured, while Ukraine has had more than 100,000 killed and injured.

(Updated: The NYT later specified that Ukrainian losses had reached 100,000 people injured and killed).

Still, analysts told the NYT that some of the documents "appeared authentic and would provide Russia with valuable information such as the timetables for the delivery of weapons and troops, Ukrainian troop buildup numbers and other military details".

The NYT reported that one "top secret"-labelled document offers the "Status of the Conflict as of 1 Mar.", the day when Ukrainian officials were at an American base in Wiesbaden, Germany. A day later, General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Christopher Cavoli, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, visited the Ukrainian officials in Wiesbaden.

Another document "includes columns that list Ukrainian troop units, equipment and training, with schedules for January through April".

"The document contains a summary of 12 combat brigades that are being assembled, with nine of them apparently being trained and supplied by the United States and other NATO allies. Of those nine brigades, the documents said that six would be ready by March 31 and the rest by April 30. A Ukrainian brigade has about 4,000 to 5,000 soldiers, analysts said," according to the NYT.

The document said that the total equipment needed for nine brigades was more than 250 tanks and more than 350 mechanised vehicles.

"The leak is the first Russian intelligence breakthrough that has been made public since the war began," the NYT concluded.

Journalists fight on their own frontline. Support Ukrainska Pravda or become our patron!