What we know
Classified US government documents posted on online message boards made their way into the world’s media late last week in what may be the largest national security breach in at least a decade.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that files began to be shared with a small group on the Discord messaging platform in January and were shared again with a larger group in early March.
The leak escaped widespread notice for almost another month, after files were posted on the imageboard 4Chan and reposted again (some of them in an altered form) by pro-Russian accounts on the messaging service Telegram.
Other documents have popped up on other social media platforms and been verified by US intelligence officials over the past few days, complicating apparent plans for a spring military offensive by Ukraine and revealing details about Kyiv’s dwindling air defenses against Russia.
Beyond the revelations about the state of the 13-month-old war between Russia and Ukraine, the scandal has also revealed spying by the US on its allies and has almost certainly exposed American intelligence sources.
What it means
The war is extremely costly. The count is high in both money and lives lost. The current estimates by these documents tally the lives lost to over 50k on both sides with others estimating the casualties well over 200k. We ran an article earlier about how much money this war has cost the American tax payer and the billions of dollars we have put into the Ukraine war with Russia. More of this leaks will happen as the war continues on and popular opinion and support wane.