Russia is plotting to stage acts of provocation to create a pretext to invade Ukraine, a US official has said.
A Pentagon spokesman said Russian operatives were planning a “false-flag” operation, to allow Moscow to accuse Ukraine of preparing an attack. Russia has dismissed the claims.
It comes after a week of US-Russian talks aimed at defusing tensions.
Ukraine on Friday accused Russia of being behind a cyber-attack on dozens of official websites.
Before the sites went offline, a message appeared warning Ukrainians to “prepare for the worst”. Access to most of the sites was restored within hours.
The US and Nato condemned the attack and have offered support to Ukraine. Russia has not commented on the hack.