Ukraine conflict: What is a false flag operation? What does the term mean?
The Kremlin said in a statement they were “seriously concerned” about reports of an escalation after the separatists accused Ukrainian government forces of opening fire on their territory over the weekend.
But the prospect of talks did little to dampen fears an attack was imminent, with the White House saying the Kremlin was continuing to prepare a “full-scale assault on Ukraine very soon”.
What is a false flag operation?
The term “false flag” refers to a covert operation that is designed to look as if it has been carried out by someone else. Such operations are common in the pretext of war-time actions and are usually carried out by government backed or military groups to undermine the status quo.
Where does the phrase ‘false flag’ come from?
The term ‘false flag’ is applied to covert operations that shift the responsibility on to a different party in order to set an agenda or undermine stability.
The exact original use for the phrase is unknown, however, it is believed that the term ‘false flag’ comes from pirate ships flying the colours of other nations to deceive merchant ships into thinking they were dealing with a friendly vessel.