Was a Russian ship sunk with Washington’s help?

gAccording to US media, US intelligence information helped the Ukrainian armed forces sink the Russian missile cruiser Moskva. NBC, citing government officials, reported on Thursday that kyiv had asked the United States for information about a ship sailing in the Black Sea. The American secret services then identified the ship as “Moskva” and transmitted its position. However, it was not known that Ukraine would attack the ship.

Sophie Dreisbach

North American political correspondent based in Washington.

This information is not shared with Kyiv to enable attacks, the official said, but to “better understand” the threats and “help Ukraine prepare to defend against possible attacks from the sea.” The “Moskva” was sunk on April 14, presumably with two Ukrainian anti-ship missiles of the “Neptun” type. Moscow denies this, but it is not known how many crew members died. NBC reports that there were “significant casualties,” according to US government officials, but they don’t know exactly how many people were killed.

Threat of retaliation?

Even before Moskva’s announcement, The New York Times reported this week that US intelligence agencies provided Ukraine with information that was used, among other things, to locate and kill 12 Russian generals. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby denied this on Thursday. “We do not provide information on the whereabouts of senior military officials on the battlefield and do not participate in the targeting decisions of the Ukrainian military.” Kyiv “combines information provided by us and other partners” with its own information. Then he makes his own decisions. However, “useful information would be made available in a timely manner”. Kirby hasn’t explained exactly what that means. National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson also said in response to the media report, “We do not provide information with the intent to kill Russian generals.”

For the US government, these reports are sensitive. Since the start of the war, she pointed out that the United States had provided aid only to help Ukraine defend itself. It was therefore impossible from the start – President Biden keeps repeating this – that American soldiers could be stationed in Ukraine. Now there are fears that Russia could use Washington-provided information used in the attacks as justification for direct retaliation.

The ‘Axios’ news portal reported on Friday that EU officials had warned against “inappropriate disclosure” of intelligence information. This could cause an “unexpected reaction”. “Axios” cites that one must exercise caution in what one does and says “for the security of military operations on the ground” and because one does not want a war with Russia. The quoted European sources claim that Ukraine was unable to kill Russian generals because of information from US intelligence. On the contrary, it succeeded because Russia applied the “old Soviet teachings”, according to which generals were sent to the front, for example.

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