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TOPIC: pentagon leaks

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Ukraine's Spring Counteroffensive Has Been Delayed Again — Here's Why

Analysts have been talking about a Ukrainian counteroffensive since the end of last year. But when, where and how it will happen is still a closely guarded secret, thrown into further turmoil by the embarrassing leaks from inside the U.S. Defense Department. Ultimately, however, there are other factors that matter more.


KYIV — All last winter and into the spring, media and military analysts talked about the Russian offensive in Donbas and the upcoming Ukrainian counteroffensive. But military and political leaders say all of this talk is nothing more than reading tea leaves. According to the secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, Oleksiy Danilov, at most five people know where and when the Ukrainian counteroffensive will begin.

In early February, top Ukrainian military and political leaders held closed-door briefings for G7 diplomats. At the time, the counteroffensive was planned for April or May. But in early April, secret Pentagon documents were leaked to the public on gaming servers.

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The head of Ukraine's Main Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, believes that this was a Kremlin information operation to strike at relations between Ukraine and the U.S., while other Ukrainian military officials believe that the U.S. will benefit the most from it: both Kyiv and Moscow discovered that Washington has a wide range of data on their forces.

Still, the Ukrainian military says the U.S. leak hasn't disrupted planning. "This data leak will not affect the counteroffensive in any way. There is no word about our real plans," says a senior Ukrainian security official. "We have plans, the General Staff has approved them, and we are moving slowly. The next couple of months will be difficult."

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Pentagon Leaks: How America Was Exposed, At Home And Abroad

Confronted with a significant security breach, the U.S. is learning a brutal lesson about modern warfare.


PARIS — It's a total embarrassment for America. The recent leaks of highly classified documents have revealed a disturbing security flaw for the world's leading power. In Washington, an investigation is underway into the source of the documents, some of which initially surfaced on obscure gaming chat platforms.

The fact that the information contained in the documents is now public is also disconcerting — with the additional concern that some of the information may be falsified, including date on losses in the war in Ukraine. How can we distinguish true from false? Regardless, the damage is done, and it is considerable.

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The leaked Pentagon documents deal with subjects as varied as Ukraine, spying in South Korea, protests in Israel, Turkey and the Russian mercenary outfit Wagner, as well as France. The consequences are disastrous, starting with American credibility.

CNN has reported that Ukraine has been forced to change plans for its spring counteroffensive after some secret military information was revealed in the leaks. If true, this is perhaps the most important consequence of the leaks.

But it is not the only one. The French Minister of the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu, was forced to deny that 100 French Special Forces members were on Ukrainian territory. France, like other Western nations, denies its service members are present on Ukrainian soil. Whether information or disinformation, the leaks are sowing confusion.

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