UKRAINE plotted an audacious attack on Moscow to mark the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion, leaked spy documents have revealed.
The mass strikes were ultimately called off after the United States intervened and warned Kyiv its plan could lead to a nuclear war between the West and Russia.
Tensions have been mounting amid Russian nuclear sabre-rattling with Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of Vladimir Putin's security council, saying the world is “sick” and on the brink of “a new world war”.
Ukrainian drones have already crashed near Putin’s capital while Kyiv has been suspected of behind sabotage attacks carried out near the city.
These include explosions and fires at shopping malls as well as energy facilities.
The plans for the February 24 attack on Moscow by Ukraine’s HUR military intelligence, were revealed in classified documents seen by the Washington Post.
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Ukraine’s intelligence boss Major General Kyrylo Budanov instructed his officers to prepare for “mass strikes” with “everything HUR had”, the National Security Agency documents reveal.
As well as attacks on Moscow, the Ukrainians also mulled over hitting the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.
But officials in Washington appear to have gotten wind of the plans and became anxious they could have sparked a wider military clash.
Initial attempts to persuade the Ukrainians appear to have been unsuccessful after it emerged Ukraine’s SBU security service also had plans to attack Moscow.
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The CIA circulated a report saying that “there is no indication” the SBU had “agreed to postpone its own plans to attack Moscow".
Then two days before the attack would have gone ahead, the CIA said the HUR “had agreed, at Washington’s request, to postpone strikes”.
While Ukraine held off from an attack on Moscow to mark Russia's invasion, just after the anniversary, a Russian airbase was rocked by massive explosions following a suspected drone strike.
The documents indicate US intelligence is eavesdropping on Budanov’s communications.
They also reveal tension between Kyiv and Washington over the extent to which US made weapons can be used to carry the war into Russia itself.
So far the reluctance to supply F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine has been interpreted as stemming from US fears they could be used in attacks that could escalate the conflict.
Moscow is around 280 miles from the closest point in Ukraine in a straight line but has so far not been directly hit though Kyiv appears to be continually trying.
A suspected Ukrainian drone was discovered just miles from the Russian capital in a potentially major new danger to Russia on Monday.
The drone appeared to have evaded the capital's air defences which have been massively strengthened in recent weeks.
The news follows reports that Ukraine is preparing for a major strike to retake Crimea and humiliate Putin.
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