The Biden administration is investigating the leak of classified war documents about secret American and Nato plans for bolstering the Ukrainian military ahead of an anticipated spring salvo against Russian forces, senior officials said.
“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, reported The New York Times.
The five-weeks-old documents reportedly reveal details of Ukraine’s requirements ahead of a planned counteroffensive to reclaim territory taken by Russia since the full-scale invasion last year, as well as how the US and Nato might meet them.
They appeared on both Twitter and Telegram, a messaging platform that is widely used in Ukraine and Russia.
The documents did not show specific battle plans about how, when and where the Ukrainian forces are looking to launch their offensive, however.
US officials have hinted that this counteroffensive is coming in the next month or so, while Ukrainian forces on the ground have said they are ready to attack when Kyiv gives the word.
According to military analysts who have looked at the documents, certain parts appear to be modified from their original format and exaggerate the American tally of Ukrainians killed in the war while downplaying the estimates of Russian troops killed.
One of the slides states that Russia has lost 16,000 to 17,500 soldiers since the invasion, while Ukraine had suffered as many as 71,500 troop deaths. This is a gross underestimate from what the Pentagon and other analysts have estimated for Russian casualties with nearly 200,000 killed and injured. Ukraine has had more than 100,000 casualties in the war, according to the Pentagon.
The documents appear to represent a significant breach of American intelligence, detailing information that has not been publicly stated by the Pentagon.
Among other details it refers to the expenditure rate of high mobility artillery rocket systems or HIMARS, which have been a huge boost to Ukraine’s military capabilities by allowing long-distance attacks on ammunition dumps, batteries of troops and critical Russian infrastructure in occupied areas.