Pentagon top secret documents on Ukraine have been leaked on social media

The Pentagon have scrambled to discover the source of a leak that has seen top secret documents on the Ukraine war leaked on social media sites.
Christopher McFadden
According the NY Times, top secret documents on Ukraine have appeared on social media.


As The New York Times first reported, at least two social media sites have leaked top-secret Pentagon documents about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. This has alerted the Pentagon as they are reportedly scrambling to discover the source of the leak or, indeed, learn how they were acquired.

"We are aware of the reports of social media posts, and the department is reviewing the matter," said Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh.

In a statement to NPR, Department of Justice (DOJ) spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa said that the department had launched an investigation into the disclosures and has spoken with the department. Some of the critical information in the leaked documents is shown on maps of Ukraine and graphs that show where troops are and what kinds of weapons they have.

One, according to NPR, is labeled "Top Secret," and is titled "Status of the Conflict as of 1 March." Another of the documents, dated February 23 and marked “Secret”, also seems to outline in detail how Ukraine’s Soviet-era S-300 air defense systems would be depleted by May 2 at the current usage rate, according to the Guardian.

Although it's unclear why the documents are only now becoming public, more than a month after they were written, they provide a thorough description of the battlefield on that specific day.

Although the documents seem authentic, military analysts believe some of the original copies may have been changed. One graph, for instance, estimates the number of fatalities in Ukraine at roughly 71,000, which is considered a reasonable estimate.

The graphic also includes the Russian fatalities listed at 16,000–17,500. Although neither side provides total casualty counts, the Russian count is thought to be significantly higher.

This leak is worrying for the Pentagon, but it is also yet to be seen how, or even if, such information will be used by people who now have access to it, like the Russian military. Thankfully, no war plans were included in the leaked documentation.

This spring, it is widely anticipated that the Ukrainians will begin their offensive, which most observers predict would concentrate on regions in southeast Ukraine held by Russian forces. Thankfully, details of this, if any exist, were not included in the files leaked on the internet. However, they note the combat units that Ukraine is assembling and the expected date of their battle readiness.

According to a top Ukrainian security official named Oleksii Danilov, only five people in the world know the exact start and location of the counter-offensive.

To date, who published the materials and what motivated them to do so is unknown. The Pentagon was informed that the materials had been stolen or leaked after posting them online, which may not have been known otherwise.

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