Accusations were made by the United States yesterday that Russia is preparing to stage an fabricated attack to use as a pretext for an invasion of Ukraine. Over the last twenty-four hours the news cycle has taken the story and run with it. Washington’s warning certainly stems from accurate intelligence data. Russian intelligence and military leaders would be foolish to not be planning a ‘false flag’ action right now to use as justification for a largescale military operation. Now that this plan has been exposed for the world to see, the US expects Vladimir Putin to not use it. Yet in all probability, Putin will likely push forward anyhow since the target audience for a staged attack will be domestic. To say there is an amount of bad blood between Ukrainians and Russians would be an understatement. There is already a high level of distrust and animosity between the two groups, heightened even more by the War in Donbass. Putin would be a fool not to attempt and exploit the divide even more. This will be the reason for a fabricated attack against Russian citizens in either eastern Ukraine or Russia.
French President Emmanuel Macron will be traveling to Moscow on Monday to discuss the crisis in Ukraine with Russian President Vladimir Putin. On the return trip, Macron will land in Kiev to hold talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy. The French leader has been supporting diplomatic efforts to bring the crisis to an end, even though France is currently deploying troops to Romania. There have been a series of phone calls between Macron and Putin over the past week and expectations are rising in Paris over the opportunity to bring the crisis to an end. The optimism negates the stark reality that even the prospect of diplomatic concessions has failed to sway Russia off its current path.