How damaging is the US intelligence leak?
The publication of secret US documents has caused a stir in Washington. The US Department of Defense said that the fact that documents containing information about US support for Ukraine and actions on the front line have been circulating online for several days poses a significant threat to the country’s national security. Europe’s press also sees significant fallout.
An embarrassment for the Pentagon
De Tijd does not believe the timing was a coincidence:
“A political motive seems to be lacking this time, even if the timing may not be entirely by chance. The militarily sensitive information comes to light shortly before the long-awaited Ukrainian spring offensive. Kyiv has already announced that it will adjust some of its plans. This affair is an embarrassment for the American intelligence services and the Pentagon. The measures taken after previous major leaks are no longer sufficient. The war in Ukraine is a war of information. This leak raises the stakes even higher.”
This could be a warning
Above all it is Ukraine that could be hurt, La Repubblica points out:
“The fact that the leaks coincide with Kyiv’s planned spring counter-offensive poses a potential danger for this crucial phase of the conflict: a possible warning that Moscow is familiar with the weaknesses of the Ukrainian armed forces and knows how, and to what extent, the US intelligence services are spying on the Russian offensive. Ukrainian President Zelensky’s strategists will be among the first to have to assess, probably together with Western advisers, what consequences the revelations could have for their immediate military plans.”
No concealment intended
Visão doesn’t consider the publication of secret plans about a potentially imminent counter-offensive by Ukraine to be dangerous:
“This secret plan has one extraordinary characteristic: it’s scary. That is the goal. Ukraine is days, weeks away from a full-force offensive against the Russians. From top to bottom, from Donetsk and Zaporizhia to the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea, from east to west, cutting them into little pieces. This is the real plan of the Ukrainian armed forces. Nothing hidden, concealed, camouflaged.”
Ekaterina Kotrikadze, foreign affairs editor at the exile broadcaster Dozhd, believes the leaks were deliberate. She writes In a Telegram post republished by Echo:
“In my view it is no accident that this coincides with the Ukrainian army’s (presumed) imminent counter-offensive. It looks like an attempt to confuse the Russian military and political leadership before the decisive battle. For there is nothing really sensitive or sensational in the documents about the deployment and plans of the Ukrainian troops.”