Russia rejected on Friday the United States' claims that it is plotting a false flag operation to justify an attack on Ukraine.
The Pentagon and the State Department on Thursday accused Russia of planning to stage a “fake attack” by Ukrainian forces on Russian-speaking people accompanied by “a very graphic propaganda video.” When pressed for evidence, State Department spokesman Ned Price said it was “confident” in its intelligence but provided no other proof.
“I’d recommend not to take anyone’s word for it, especially the State Department, when it comes to these issues,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the U.S. claims “nonsense.”
"The delusional nature of such fabrications — and there are more and more of them every day — is obvious to any more or less experienced political scientist," he said in televised remarks.
Meanwhile, pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine accused U.S., British and Estonian media outlets of preparing fake stories to “demonstrate Russian aggression to the Western community,” the Russian state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.
The U.S. and its Western allies have warned that Russia is planning an invasion of Ukraine, its pro-Western neighbor that has been at war since pro-Moscow separatists since 2014.
Russia denies planning to attack, saying the massing of 100,000 troops near Ukraine's borders is its right and accusing the U.S. and NATO of heightening tensions.