International

US Provided Intelligence About Russian Warship That Ukraine Sank

The US provided intelligence but the decision to attack and weapons used were entirely Ukraine's.

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US Provided Intelligence About Russian Warship That Ukraine Sank
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A US official confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday that America provided intelligence to Ukraine about the location of Russian warship Moskva in the Black Sea that it sank in the most high-profile setback to the Russian military. 

But the decision to sink the ship and the anti-ship missiles used was entirely Ukraine's, said the official, adding the US was not aware of a plan to attack the ship until after it was carried out. 

NBC News was the first to report on the US role in the sinking of the ship. 

Given Russia's attacks on the Ukrainian coastline from the sea, the US has provided “a range of intelligence” that includes locations of those ships, said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. 

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The Biden administration has ramped up intelligence sharing with Ukraine alongside the shipment of arms and missiles to help it repel Russia's invasion. The disclosure of US support in the sinking of Russian Black Sea's flagship vessel comes as the White House is under pressure from Republicans to do more to support Ukraine's resistance and as polls suggest Americans question whether President Joe Biden is being tough enough on Russia. 

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion in February, the White House has tried to balance supporting Ukraine, a democratic ally, against not doing anything that would seem to provoke a direct war between Putin and the US and NATO allies. As the war has gone on, the White House has ramped up its military and intelligence support, removing some time and geographic limits on what it will tell Ukraine about potential Russian targets. 

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Speaking earlier on Thursday after a New York Times report about the US role in supporting Ukraine's killing of Russian generals, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said US agencies "do not provide intelligence on the location of senior military leaders on the battlefield or participate in the targeting decisions of the Ukrainian military”.

Kirby said, “Ukraine combines information that we and other partners provide with the intel that they themselves are gathering and then they make their own decisions and they take their own actions."

The Washington Examiner earlier reported a US official as saying that Western support to Ukraine, particularly from the US and UK, has played a "pivotal" role in foiling what Russia thought would be a swift victory.

The billions of dollars of military aid that Ukraine has received from over 30 countries, including $1.7 billion from US – with further $800 million approved, has also had a “profound impact” on the war efforts, according to this official.

As for Russian generals killing, up to seven general-ranking officers have been killed, as per media reports. The Wall Street Journal has reported, citing a person close to Ukraine’s President Volodomyr Zelenskyy, that Ukrainians have a dedicated unit to target high-ranking Russian officers.

(With AP inputs)

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