Russia is most likely not involved in the leak of classified US intelligence documents, including those on the war in Ukraine, Bellingcat journalist Alec Toler is convinced. Reuters sources previously claimed that Russia was likely behind the leak.
Source. Toler wrote about this on Twitter.
"Based on conversations with people who have been following the leak over the past few months, there is no way Russia was behind it," Toler wrote.
He added that the source of the leak was probably "some guy on a tiny Discord server trying to impress 20 of his gamer friends."
The New York Times notes that some of the documents were marked "for internal US use only," so the source was likely an American official.
Former officials spoke to the newspaper and said that the documents were probably carried in their pockets and then photographed.
The Washington Post was able to identify the person who posted the photos on Discord. A man in southern California opened the door to a house registered to the author's father, but refused to answer journalists' questions. In the house registered to his mother, no one answered the door, nor did they respond to calls and messages.
The Wall Street Journal writes that back in January, a Discord chat room of about ten people began publishing files about the war in Ukraine. In total, hundreds of photos of briefings were published, of which at least ten were made public.
Because of the leak, the Ukrainian military leadership was forced to change its plans, CNN writes, citing a source close to Volodymyr Zelensky.
Some of the documents, according to the channel, reveal the extent of US surveillance of key allies, including South Korea, Israel, and Ukraine.
One document revealed that the US is monitoring Zelenskyy through electronic intelligence.
Also, according to the data, Zelensky in late February "proposed a strike on Russian deployment sites in the Rostov region" using drones. According to CNN, this information may explain the US refusal to supply Ukraine with long-range weapons.
Diplomats told CNN that officials from other countries are also planning to discuss the leaks with the United States.
Background. Secret US and NATO documents were first leaked online on March 1. Photos with classified information appeared on Discord. The leak became widely known at the end of last week after the images appeared in pro-Russian telegram channels, with the data on the sides' casualties in one of the images being redacted.
According to the NYT, there may be more leaked classified documents, and the US authorities are hastily looking for the source of the leak.