Pentagon comments on "leaks" of classified documents: severe security risk
The US Department of Defence is still assessing the scale of the leak of classified information in recent weeks, which, in particular, contained information about the combat capability of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the actions of American allies.
On Monday at the briefing, assistant to the head of the Pentagon, Chris Meagher, made a report.
According to Meagher, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin was first informed about the "leak" on 6 April, and the next day began "convening senior leaders on a daily basis."
Over the weekend, US officials engaged with allies and partners – some of whom were also implicated in the document leak.
Meagher noted that due to the leak, "extremely secret, classified" information was made public, which poses a "severe risk to the national security" of the United States. "These are highly classified secret materials that people in the Department of Defenсe and, of course, in other US authorities use for their work," he said.
"The Department of Defense is working around the clock to look at the scope and scale of the distribution, the assessed impact, and our mitigation measures. We're still investigating how this happened and the scope of the issue.
He added that the US Department of Defence had taken steps to take a closer look at how this type of information is distributed and to whom.
Previously, in the US Department of Justice, an investigation has been launched into the leak of many documents American intelligence agencies have posted on social media in recent weeks.
The investigation began after new documents were added on Friday, covering a wide range of issues – from US support for Ukraine to information about crucial allies of the United States.
Mykhailo Podoliak, the adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, said the first batch of materials is "photoshopped" and joked about the degradation of Russian intelligence.
Three people can talk about the war officially – Deputy Defence Minister about the "data leak"
Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar stressed that only three people could officially talk about the plans of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, commenting on the recent "leak of secret data."
"Modern warfare is primarily an information war. We must be prepared for the fact that there may be any information stuffing, any information, and psychological operations. Any information should be treated critically. Check it, and look for the source.
Only official sources can have the only reliable information about the course of hostilities and plans of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, and Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov," said Hanna Maliar.
In addition, official sources include the General Staff, the Ministry of Defence, and press officers authorized by these institutions.
Maliar added that the plans of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are kept secret. Therefore, in her opinion, any "leaks" of information are only assumptions.
White House currently does not know who leaked classified documents
The US presidential administration does not yet know who is behind the leak of classified military documents.
"We don't know what's in these documents; we don't know who's responsible for this; and we don't know if those who did this have more documents they want to post," stated John Kirby, Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council, at a briefing in the White House.
Kirby clarified that after the audit, it would be known what part of the posted documents is fake and which is accurate.
The official also said that Joe Biden was first informed about the incident at the end of last week.
"He was informed and in contact with national security officials throughout the weekend," Kirby said.
He noted that US officials "have been in very high-level communication with relevant allies and partners due to the leaked documents over the past few days."