Massive Leak of Ukraine Intelligence Documents Angers U.S. Allies

Plus: Evan Gershkovich charged with espionage in Russia, the DOJ appeals a Texas judge's abortion ruling, and more...


The U.S. and its allies are reeling from the leak of 100 intelligence documents pertaining to Russia's war in Ukraine—and no one has any idea who is responsible.

The leaked documents appeared on Discord over a month ago but only recently attracted notice from the government and the media. They contain classified information about Russian troop movements. Officially, the Ukrainians don't appear worried about the leak, but other key U.S. allies—Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, which along with the U.S. are known as the Five Eyes—raised concerns about the trustworthiness of U.S. intelligence channels. According to Politico:

The saga has left the U.S. relationship with its allies in a state of crisis, raising questions about how Washington will correct what officials worldwide view as one of the largest public breaches of U.S. intelligence since WikiLeaks dumped millions of sensitive documents online from 2006 to 2021.

The distress over the leak is particularly problematic because the majority of the documents focus on the war in Ukraine — an effort the U.S. has repeatedly said hinges on collaboration among allies in NATO, Europe and elsewhere.

"The manner of the leak and the contents are very unusual," said a former U.S. intelligence analyst who focused on Russia. "I can't remember a time when there was this volume of a leak and this broad of a subject matter of authentic information that was just put on social media rather than say, the Snowden files, that went through a group of journalists first."

It could well be the case that an ally leaked the intelligence, though some of the documents say "for U.S. eyes only," which suggests a U.S. leak. And experts say a leak is more likely than a hack: What's available on Discord are photographs of documents, not the documents themselves.

The version posted on Discord in April was altered to include inflated Ukrainian death tolls. The reason for this is unclear, as the truthful information about the Ukrainian position is depressing enough. According to The New York Times:

The documents do not contain specific battle plans, including about the Ukrainian counteroffensive expected in the next month so. But they detail secret American and NATO plans for building up the Ukrainian military ahead of that offensive.

They also suggest that the Ukrainian forces are in more dire straits than their government has acknowledged publicly.

Without an influx of munitions, the documents show, the air defense system that has keep the Russian Air Force at bay may soon collapse, allowing President Vladimir V. Putin to unleash his fighter jets in ways that could change the course of the war.

The Biden administration has committed to supporting the Ukrainian government for "as long as it takes" to defeat the Russian invaders. But the reality is that Ukraine will likely run out of able-bodied persons to continue the war effort—even if vigorously funded and armed by the U.S.—long before Russian President Vladimir Putin's resolve falters. It is incumbent on U.S. diplomats to do everything in their power to bring a swift end to the conflict, even if this means Ukraine losing some territory. There is simply no better option.

Frustratingly, the Biden administration has announced that the U.S. will oppose any ceasefire that could conceivably legitimize Russia's hold over a single inch of Ukrainian territory.


Russia has formally charged Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter, with espionage. Gershkovich, a U.S. citizen, was detained by Russian police last month. The State Department has classified him as "wrongfully detained" and steadfastly denies that Gershkovich is a spy. The Wall Street Journal has also called the accusation ridiculous:

Mr. Blinken last week said Mr. Gershkovich's detention was "unacceptable" and demanded both his release and the release of another American, Paul Whelan, who has been held in Russia on espionage charges since 2018. Mr. Gershkovich's arrest sparked global condemnation of Russia's actions. The U.S. government also says Mr. Whelan is wrongfully detained. He was sentenced to serve 16 years in a Russian penal colony and remains incarcerated. His family says the charges are bogus.

The designation unlocks other U.S. government resources to work on Mr. Gershkovich's case. It broadens the State Department's authority to exert pressure on the host country, monitor intelligence, build diplomatic coalitions, exert media pressure and fight for regular consular access.


The Department of Justice is appealing the Texas court decision revoking the Food and Drug Administration's authorization of mifepristone, an abortion drug. The Washington Post reports:

The government asked the appeals court to issue its decision on pausing Kacsmaryk's order by Thursday at noon.

If the appeals court does not pause, or stay, the order while the appeal is decided, or is slow in making that decision, the Justice Department could go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to keep mifepristone available for women seeking to terminate their pregnancies. The high court will almost certainly hear the case eventually, either before or after the 5th Circuit rules.

The Justice Department and the company that makes mifepristone said in their appeal that the antiabortion groups challenging the drug lack sufficient legal grounds or standing to proceed with their lawsuit.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) called on the Biden administration to ignore the judge's ruling against the availability of mifepristone.


  • A gunman killed five people*, injuring more, at a bank in Louisville, Kentucky, on Monday. Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear said that two of the victims were personal friends.
  • Former President Donald Trump is trying to prevent former Vice President Mike Pence from having to testify before the January 6 grand jury.
  • A Virginia 6-year-old who shot his teacher will not face charges, but a grand jury has indicted the boy's mother for felony child neglect.
  • The House Judiciary Committee has deposed Nina Jankowicz, head of the defunct Disinformation Governance Board.
  • The Washington Post: "Research with exotic viruses risks a deadly outbreak, scientists warn." Who would have guessed?

*CORRECTION: The Louisville gunman killed five people.