As news broke about the leak on April 6, the documents were already being widely shared by pro-Russia accounts on social media and messaging platforms like Twitter and Telegram. (Related: Pentagon vows to investigate after classified US, NATO plans to build up Ukrainian military leak online.)
The Department of Defense confirmed the leak on April 7, saying it was investigating the matter.
"We are aware of the reports of social media posts, and the Department is reviewing the matter," said Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh.
The leaked information reportedly includes schedules for the delivery of Western-supplied military equipment, sizes of certain Ukrainian military units and other logistical data like maps of current conflict zones Bakhmut city and the oblasts (provinces) of Kharkiv and Kherson.
The leak also comes at a very opportune time for Ukrainian leadership in Kyiv, who are expected to be prepared for a spring counteroffensive to turn back the tide of decisive Russian gains, especially in the disputed Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.
The leak reportedly prompted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to convene a meeting with top military officials and advisers to discuss possible measures to prevent future leaks of classified information.
A report by researcher Aric Toler, who spoke about his findings to Matthew Gault of Vice, strongly suggests that the documents first appeared on a server in the online communication platform Discord that was meant to be for discussing the popular video game "Minecraft."
Toler at first suggested that the documents being circulated in pro-Russian media circles may have first appeared on the forum 4chan, where the documents were reportedly shared by one user to win an argument against another.
But as Toler further noted, 4chan was probably not the actual source of the leak, and then said that an earlier version of the leak likely came from a Minecraft-focused Discord server. Toler found that the 4chan leak was posted on April 5, but an earlier version of the leak was found on the Discord server that predates the information posted on 4chan.
Toler said the Discord leak came from a user named Lucca, who claimed to have found an archive of more than 100 classified files on a now-deleted Discord server. Lucca posted more than 30 of those documents to one Discord server administered by a popular YouTube personality on March 1 and 2.
On March 4, 10 of those files – the same files that have since spread all over the internet – were posted to the Minecraft Discord server.
The White House noted that it is working on deleting social media posts that show the leak. However, the documents may have already spread too far to properly contain.
Lucca, who reportedly first found and leaked the documents, has since posted on the Minecraft Discord server about expecting to be investigated.
"@everyone ily [I love you] bros, see you on the flipside," Lucca wrote.
This is not the first time military secrets have been leaked by people on gaming-centric forums and messaging services. The online military simulation game "War Thunder" has been the source of several leaks of classified military intelligence.
The difference, analysts note, is that the intelligence shared on "War Thunder" was concerned with specific military equipment players of those games are interested in and was not relevant information for people in active war zones.
The documents involved in the current leak contain far more useful intelligence, including information on an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive and the rate at which Ukrainian forces are using up ammunition for the Western-supplied M142 HIMARS multiple rocket launcher systems, which hasn't previously been disclosed.
The New York Times also noted that the leak represents "a significant breach of American intelligence in the effort to aid Ukraine."
Learn more about the situation in Ukraine at UkraineWitness.com.
Watch this clip from "The American Journal" on InfoWars as host Harrison Smith discusses how the leak of classified military documents exposes the Deep State's game plan for Ukraine.