The reaction of the world community to the Russian-Ukrainian war is fundamentally different from that of all previous military invasions after World War II. It owes this to the new public intelligence strategy of the United States, NATO and its allies. Veterans of the US Intelligence Community gathered on April 15 at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) to discuss new milestones.
The title of the discussion can be translated in two ways, and both meanings will reflect its theme: "The Future of Intelligence Sharing" and "The Future of Intelligence Sharing".
The use of US intelligence data in the run-up to Russia's invasion of Ukraine has been radically different from what has been done in all previous military situations in recent decades, experts say. The United States profile agencies had sufficient timely intelligence on Russia's invasion of both Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014. However, at that time these data remained almost entirely secret, they were used by an extremely narrow circle of professionals with tolerance. Therefore, for the general public and even some partners - the events came as a surprise.
With regard to information about Russia's preparations for the current war, a different approach was initially taken. This time, a significant amount of intelligence was promptly declassified, and it became public in one way or another: "The public intelligence exchange we saw shaped the narrative of the conflict and helped counter misinformation." Since the very first stages of the concentration of Russian armed forces at the Ukrainian borders (spring 2021), and certainly since the large-scale Russian-Belarusian exercise "West 2021" (August-September 2021), Western experts, the media and diplomats began to actively discuss the possibility of a new aggression in Europe, which Putin had planned, as well as his reaction to it.
Official warnings from the US government have been issued since November 2021, and have become permanent when the Kremlin issued an ultimatum on December 17, 2021, demanding that NATO violate its own charter and other obviously unacceptable actions. However, each time the US President and Secretary of State stressed that the final decision on Putin's invasion has not yet been made, and the possibility of a diplomatic solution to the situation remains.
In January 2022, the Western media, including the Voice of America, published with reference to experts options for detailed scenarios of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which later came true. On February 18, five days before the start of the war, President Joe Biden said: "We have reason to believe that Russian troops are planning to attack Ukraine next week, in the coming days," he said in Roosevelt's White House. "We believe that they will be aimed at the capital of Ukraine - Kyiv, a city with a population of 2.8 million innocent people." Asked if he thought Putin was still hesitant, Biden said: "I am convinced he made the decision," adding that his opinion was based on US intelligence.
On February 22, when the final information about the inevitability of a new war in Europe, Joe Biden imposed the first sanctions against Russia and made a detailed statement: "Russia is ready to go much further by launching a massive military attack on Ukraine ... This is the beginning of the Russian invasion ... More than 150,000 Russian troops surround Ukraine ... Russia has moved troops closer to the border. Russian naval vessels are maneuvering in the Black Sea, including landing craft, missile cruisers and submarines. Russia has placed supplies of blood and medical equipment on its border. You don't need blood unless you plan to start a war ... None of us should be fooled ... Further Russian invasion of Ukraine is a serious threat in the coming days ... And there is no doubt that Russia is aggressor ».
Less than forty hours before the Russian invasion were uttered by the President of the United States. Nevertheless, Biden gave Putin a chance: "The United States, our allies and partners remain open to diplomacy if it is serious. When everything is said and done, we will judge Russia by its actions, not by its words. "
Timely informing about Russia's intentions, vigorous information and diplomatic dialogue allowed the West to consolidate its position and efforts. As a result, the European and world reaction to the unleashed war was unexpectedly (for the Kremlin) rapid and strong, and world public opinion, being aware in advance, immediately sided with the victim of aggression. As a result, for the first time in many years, the Kremlin has completely lost the world information field.