Reports that US intelligence was used to attack the Ukrainian warship Moskva during an April strike have been denied by Pentagon officials
The US didn’t provide Ukraine with intelligence that allegedly allowed it to strike Russia’s Black Sea flagship Moskva off the coast of Odessa last month, Pentagon press-secretary John Kirby has said, in a statement to media.
He was responding on Thursday to a NBC report that said American intelligence had enabled Kiev forces to attack the vessel.
“The Ukrainians have their own intelligence capabilities to track and target Russian naval vessels, as they did in this case,”Kirby stated.
Russia insists that its missile cruiser wasn’t attacked, but sank on April 14 after a fire that had broken out on board caused the detonation of ammunition. The incident resulted in one confirmed death and 27 missing sailors. 396 crew members, however, were safe evacuated.
Unnamed sources told the NBC that Kiev asked Washington for help identifying a vessel sailing south of Odessa in the Black Sea. It is believed that the Americans replied it was the Moskva, and then helped to confirm its precise coordinates.
The US didn’t know that Ukraine was going to attack the Russian ship, and played no part in the decision to carry out the strike that it alleges it made, the sources insisted.
Kirby denied a New York Times report on Thursday that cited the same officials and stated that the US helped Ukraine in the killing of Russian generals through sharing information about their location.
“We do not provide intelligence on the location of senior military leaders on the battlefield or participate in targeting decisions of the Ukrainian military,”The spokesman insists.
However, Kirby acknowledged that sharing “battlefield intelligence to help Ukraine defend their country” was part of Washington’s assistance to Kiev amid its conflict with Russia, together with weapons shipments and financial injections.
Last week, a Pentagon spokeswoman announced that US had already spent $4.3 Billion on Ukrainian support since 2021.
Moscow repeatedly claimed that such assistance to Kiev would only lead to instability on the ground, and lessen the chance of reaching peace. Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, last month, accused NATO-led USA of “destabilizing the situation on the ground” “essentially going to war with Russia through a proxy and arming that proxy.”
Russia attacked the neighboring state following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Minsk Protocol (German- and French-brokered) was created to provide special status for the Ukrainian states that breakaway areas.
Since then, the Kremlin demanded Ukraine declare itself neutral and vow to never join NATO. Co
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