Friday, April 21, 2023

Pentagon Document Leak: What We Know So Far and the Biggest Takeaways; Social-Media Account Overseen by Former Navy Noncommissioned Officer Helped Spread Secrets; Slovakia Gives UKR Remaining 9 Promised Warplanes; UKR Forces Carry Out 5 Strikes on RU Concentration Areas, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Photo Illustration: Madeline Marshall
WSJ: Pentagon Document Leak: What We Know So Far and the Biggest Takeaways
A 21-year-old Massachusetts Air National Guardsman has been charged in connection with a leak of purported highly classified documents surrounding the war in Ukraine and other topics, capping a fast-moving probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pentagon and others to pinpoint the source of the intelligence breach.
The unauthorized disclosures appear to provide details about the war in Ukraine, intercepted communications about U.S. allies such as Israel, South Korea and Egypt, and details of American penetration of Russian military plans, among other topics. Officials have said the leak is likely to have an impact on U.S. national security worldwide.
Here’s what to know about the leak and how the U.S. and its allies are responding.
Who has been charged in connection with the case?
Prosecutors on Friday charged Airman First Class Jack Teixeira with unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information and unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material. He was ordered to be held in custody until an April 19 detention hearing.
Airman Teixeira holds the rank of airman first class in an intelligence unit of the Massachusetts Air National Guard and is a junior Air Force communications specialist, according to his service record.
Federal agents took Airman Teixeira into custody at his home in Dighton, Mass., on Thursday.
What classified documents were leaked?
The bulk of the more than 60 documents that have been made public so far appear to originate from the Central Intelligence Agency’s Operations Center and the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The documents appear to have been printed and folded twice. In some images there are items clearly visible in the background, including a hunting magazine, a knife and a tube of Gorilla-brand glue. --->LOTS MORE ON THIS STORY HERE
WSJ: Social-Media Account Overseen by Former Navy Noncommissioned Officer Helped Spread Secrets:
An American administrator of the Donbas Girl blogger network uses a pro-Russian persona across online platforms
A social-media account overseen by a former U.S. Navy noncommissioned officer—a prominent online voice supporting Russia’s war on Ukraine—played a key role in the spread of intelligence documents allegedly leaked by Airman First Class Jack Teixeira.
A purported Russian blogger known as Donbass Devushka, which translates as Donbas Girl, reposted the files from obscure online chat rooms. The blog is the face of a network of pro-Kremlin social-media, podcasting, merchandise and fundraising accounts. But the person who hosted podcasts as Donbass Devushka and oversees these accounts is a Washington-state-based former U.S. enlisted aviation electronics technician whose real name is Sarah Bils.
Russia first intervened in the Donbas part of eastern Ukraine in 2014, and most of the recent fighting has focused on that area.
Ms. Bils, 37 years old, served at the U.S. naval air station on Whidbey Island until late last year, even as the accounts she had established and supervised glorified the Russian military and the paramilitary Wagner Group. They are among the most widely followed English-language social-media outlets promoting Russia’s views.
In an interview Saturday at her home in Oak Harbor, Wash., Ms. Bils said she is an administrator of the Donbass Devushka persona, and acknowledged raising funds and hosting podcasts under that name. She added, however, that she is one of 15 people “all over the world” involved in running the Donbass Devushka network. Ms. Bils declined to identify these people.
On April 5, the Donbass Devushka Telegram account posted four of the allegedly leaked classified documents to its 65,000 followers, according to a screenshot seen by The Wall Street Journal. That led several large Russian social-media accounts to pick up on the documents, after which the Pentagon launched an investigation. Ms. Bils says another administrator posted the four files. --->LOTS MORE ON THIS HERE
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