President Joe Biden declassified intelligence ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to convince skeptical allies of the Kremlin’s plot, CNN reports.
Avril Haines, the director of National Intelligence, said at a cybersecurity conference on Monday that American warnings of an impending Russian attack were met with “skepticism.”
“When we explained to our policymakers and our policymakers went to their interlocutors, they found that there was a fair amount of skepticism about it," she said.
"As a consequence, the President came back to us and said, ‘you need to go out and share as much as you possibly can and ensure that folks see what it is that you're seeing, so that we can engage again and perhaps have more productive conversations about how to plan for essentially the potential of a Russian invasion,’” Haines explained.
US steps up intel sharing:
Haines said that the U.S. and allies have shared a lot of intelligence to combat Russia.
The "degree of sharing that we have done during this whole process has been extraordinary," she said.
UK spy chief Jeremy Fleming also said in March that intelligence allies were releasing “deeply secret intelligence” to “get ahead of Putin’s actions.”
Even Ukraine pushed back:
American warnings of a Russian invasion were widely met with skepticism amid the Kremlin’s troop buildup along the Ukrainian border — even by Ukrainians.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reportedly told Biden to “calm down the messaging” about the threat because it was causing a panic, CNN reported in January.
Biden warned Zelensky on the call that Russia could invade as early as February, which it ultimately did.
Zelensky told Biden at the time that Ukraine did not agree with the U.S. assessment.