The Ukrainian president’s office has dismissed western media reports that Kyiv was preparing to strike Moscow on the anniversary of the full-scale invasion and only called off the plans after pressure from the U.S.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Mykhailo Podolyak, the adviser to the head of the Presidential Office, said the story was a “strange media sensation” that was “conspiratorially reported” by American outlets.
The initial report appeared in The Washington Post on Monday and, citing leaded documents, said discussions had been underway about a potential sea-based strike “using TNT in Novorossiysk, a Black Sea port city,” as a symbolic demonstration of Ukraine's ability to strike deep into enemy territory.
However, officials in Washington, according to the publication, were secretly monitoring these plans and were concerned that such attacks within Russia could provoke a strong response from the Kremlin.
In his post on Twitter, Podolyak said: “… I have a simple question. Why would there be a need for us to do this? What task would such a one-time action solve?
“Would it change the course of the war? Would it make the Russians flee? Would it remove the need for weapons?”
We all see a strange media/sensation once again... "On the anniversary of the war, Ukraine planned to strike at Moscow with everything it had, but its partners made it change the decision", the reputable American media conspiratorially reported. Of course, without details and…— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) April 24, 2023
In a statement to Kyiv Post, Podolyak also suggested the leaks which have spawned a plethora of coverage for weeks now, are part of a Russian "information campaign."
"Indeed, everything is absolutely obvious. You don’t have to look for a black cat in a dark room," he said. "Such informational 'dumps' are a manifestation of a standard hybrid war. Something is done deliberately, something through anonymous sources.
"It should not be forgotten that Moscow invests huge amounts of money in the development of specific 'information campaigns' around the world. Discrediting, panic, doubt and conflict are key goals of Russia in foreign markets.
"And the most important thing is the constant attempts to divide the allies of the anti-Putin coalition and instill persistent mistrust between us."
The leaked documents highlight the underlying tension between Ukraine and the United States in their approach to the war. While Kyiv wants to take the fight to Russian soil, Washington is cautious about any move that could escalate the conflict into a direct confrontation between American and Russian forces.
American officials are particularly apprehensive about attacks on Russia that involve US-supplied weaponry, as they consider it a high-risk operation that could prompt President Vladimir Putin to use tactical nuclear weapons.
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