At key moments since the Ukraine crisis flared into the headlines two months ago, U.S. President Joe Biden and his aides have worked to expose Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans, declassifying intelligence about his next steps and calling him out as an "aggressor.”

The administration has revealed information that could only have been obtained by penetrating, at least to some degree, Russia’s military and intelligence systems. The Pentagon declared publicly that the force Putin was assembling on three of Ukraine’s borders would reach 175,000 or more before an invasion began, a piece of data one cannot discern from looking at a satellite photograph.

A few weeks later, it said Moscow would try to stage a provocation — a "false flag attack” on its own forces or allies — to create a pretext to act. Then the Pentagon encouraged the British to reveal a Russian plan to install a puppet government in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.