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US spies not caught off-guard by Crimea crisis: general

Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lieutenant General Michael Flynn testifies on February 4, 2014 in WashingtonUS spy agencies had warned the White House of imminent action by Russia in Ukraine and were not caught off-guard by the crisis, a top official said Friday, rejecting criticism from lawmakers. Facing accusations the spy services were taken by surprise, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, said the intelligence community predicted the likely intervention of Russian troops at least a week in advance. “I think for easily seven to 10 days leading up to the Russian troops as we see them now in Crimea, we were providing very solid reporting on what I would describe as just strategic warning,” Flynn told National Public Radio. The warnings gradually escalated to the point where Russian intervention on the peninsula was described as “imminent,” Flynn said in a rare interview.

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