The Biden administration is expected to announce Thursday that Russia has created a plan that will give the country a reason to invade Ukraine, according to The Washington Post.

The New York Times reported that Russia will use “a faked video that would build on recent disinformation campaigns.”

The plan: Russia’s plan involves drumming up outrage against the Ukrainian government, four people familiar with the situation told The Washington Post.

  • The alleged incident would include broadcasting fabricated images and videos of the Ukrainian government attacking people on Russian territory or against people in Ukraine who speak Russian, according to The New York Times.
  • An official with the U.S. told The Washington Post it’s unclear if the casualties in the videos would be real or fake.
  • The U.S. will then allege Russia wants to show the attacks to a wide audience, hoping it will create outrage by Ukraine against the Russian government, per The Washington Post.
  • Russia would then use this incident as a reason to invade Ukraine. Or it would call on separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine to invite Russia to intervene.
  • The video would include “graphic images of the staged, corpse-strewn aftermath of an explosion and footage of destroyed locations,” according to The New York Times.
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Why this matters: There’s increased tension between Ukraine and Russia right now as Russia has amassed military forces on Ukraine’s borders. The world has been waiting to see if Russia would invade Ukraine or not.

  • This recent allegation is the closest we’ve come to understanding how Russia would stage an invasion.
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More plans: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Russia has amassed enough troops to begin a “lightning war” with Ukraine, hoping to seize the capital city of Kyiv quickly, according to The Financial Times.

  • He said there are 60 battle groups on the borders of Ukraine, which is a sign that Russia has a “plan for a lightning war that could take out Kyiv.”
  • “That would be a disastrous step,” he said, per The Financial Times.
  • This is “going to be a painful, violent and bloody business. I think it’s very important that people in Russia understand that this could be a new Chechnya,” he said
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