US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the United States will investigate the recent purported leak of classified documents until the source is found.
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A leak of classified US Defence Department documents is a “very serious” risk to national security, the Pentagon has said.
The documents, which have been circulated on social media, appear to include sensitive information regarding the war in Ukraine, as well as on China and US allies.
Officials say the files are in a format similar to documents issued to senior leaders, and an investigation has been opened to determine the source of the leak.
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Ukraine compared Russia on Wednesday to Islamic State, after a video emerged online showing apparent Russian soldiers filming themselves beheading a Ukrainian captive with a knife.
Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity or provenance of the video shared on social media, which showed a man in uniform beheading a man who wears the yellow arm band used by Ukrainian soldiers.
There was no immediate comment on the video from Moscow, which has denied in the past that its troops carry out atrocities during the full-scale invasion Russia launched last year.
“There is something that no one in the world can ignore: how easily these beasts kill,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video message.
“There will be legal responsibility for everything. The defeat of terror is necessary.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba said on Twitter: “A horrific video of Russian troops decapitating a Ukrainian prisoner of war is circulating online.
“It’s absurd that Russia, which is worse than ISIS, is presiding over the UNSC,” he said, referring to the U.N. Security Council where Russia took up the rotating presidency this month. “Russian terrorists must be kicked out of Ukraine and the UN and be held accountable for their crimes.”
Militants from Islamic State in Iraq and Syria were notorious for releasing videos of beheadings of captives when they controlled swathes of those countries from 2014-2017.
Ukraine’s domestic security agency said it had launched an investigation into a suspected war crime over the video.
“Yesterday, a video appeared on the Internet showing how the Russian occupiers are showing their beastly nature – cruelly torturing a Ukrainian prisoner and cutting off his head,” the SBU agency wrote on Telegram.
US agencies are working to mitigate the security fallout of an online leak of dozens of highly classified government documents.
The search for answers is intensifying as Pentagon officials suggest the breach could be bigger than the Edward Snowden scandal.
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US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the United States will investigate the recent purported leak of classified documents until the source is found reut.rs/41nQI4a
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