Classified U.S. documents on Ukraine war spread through ‘Minecraft’ Discord

A Discord server for Minecraft has been linked to the spread of classified United States documents that detailed the country’s involvement in the Ukraine war.

The leak in question, described by one senior official as a “massive intelligence breach” (via The New York Times), was made up of Pentagon documents detailing the war in Ukraine.

Leaked intelligence documents include the United States’ assessment of Ukrainian and Russian military forces, along with efforts made by the U.S. to spy on Ukrainian leadership.

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The documents also detailed the United States’ infiltration of Russian intelligence and military bodies, and exposed America’s ability to consistently warn Ukraine of Russian plans ahead of time.

On Sunday (April 9), independent investigative body Bellingcat reported that, in March the leaked documents were spread through a Discord server called “Minecraft Earth Map”.

In a screenshot, a “brief spat” between two users regarding Minecraft and the Ukraine war resulted in one user writing “here, have some leaked documents” and posting ten of the leaked documents.

Minecraft
Minecraft. Credit: Mojang Studios

Bellingcat reported that the leak was also spread through a Discord fan-made server for YouTube star WowMao.

From there, the documents were spread across social media sites Telegram and 4chan, where altered images of the documents – showing higher Ukrainian combat losses – started to appear.

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It’s not the first time that classified military documents have been leaked – or spread – by gamers. Earlier in the year, a War Thunder player committed treason by posting U.S. government military secrets to win an argument about the game.

For War Thunder, it’s become a rather common occurrence: a French army tank crewman shared classified specifications for one vehicle in 2021, while a Chinese Main Battle Tank crew member did the same thing with documents for their tank’s ammunition rounds in a bid to convince developer Gaijin to tweak the in-game stats.

A year later, another War Thunder fan broke the UK’s Official Secrets Act to prove Gaijin hadn’t coded one of the game’s tanks properly.

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