The US Permanent Representative to NATO, Douglas Lute, has admitted that his knowledge about the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine comes mostly from social networks rather than intelligence reports.
“We should all ask ourselves: why is it that we know so little really about what is going on in Donbass,” the US ambassador to NATO told “Friends of Europe” forum in Brussels.
“I mean, frankly, I read more on social media about what is going on in the Donbass than I get from formal intelligence networks. This is because the networks don’t exist today,” Lute said.
The US envoy to NATO then backtracked, reacting to a comment made by Elena Donova, a member of the Russian delegation to NATO.
“I didn’t say that we ignored our intelligence sources. I just said that compared to the Cold War the systems that we once had twenty years ago have atrophied,” he said, adding that the “things have fundamentally changed.”
The reliability of social media as a source of information has been questioned throughout the conflict in Ukraine.
The latest example is an April tweet by US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt claiming that Russia’s military were continuing to expand their presence in eastern Ukraine. As for proof, Pyatt posted a two-year-old picture of an air defense system from an air show near Moscow.
Full article: US NATO envoy: ‘I get most info on Ukraine conflict from social networks’ (Russia Today)