Claims Circulate that US Intel is Helping Ukrainian Troops Kill at Least 12 Russian Generals
Edited by: TJVNews.com
US officials have reportedly confirmed they are providing intelligence that has helped Ukrainian forces target and kill at least 12 Russian generals in the war on Ukraine, according to published reports.
The Guardian of the UK reported that the claim in the New York Times, quoting unnamed defense officials, appears to confirm suspicions that the US is supplying actionable intelligence in real time to help the Ukrainian military select high-value targets.
The MilitaryTimes.com website reported that officials from the Defense Department on Thursday pushed back on reports that U.S. intelligence assets are providing information to Ukrainian military forces to help them target Russian generals, saying instead the focus is on defensive issues.
“The United States provides battlefield intelligence to help Ukrainians defend their country,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters during a press conference. “We do not provide intelligence on the location of senior military leaders on the battlefield or participate in the targeting decisions of the Ukrainian military.”
U.S. and NATO intelligence assets have also shared significant information with the Ukrainian forces. Kirby would not give specifics of what that includes, according to the MilitaryTimes.com report.
“Ukrainians have, quite frankly, a lot more information than we do,” Kirby said.
“This is their country, their territory and they have capable intelligence collection abilities of their own,” he added. “Ukraine combines information that we and other partners provide with the intelligence that they themselves are gathering on the battlefield.”
Kirby did say that U.S. intelligence officials have publicly noted that “the Russians have not made the progress that we believe they expected to make by this point” in the 70-day-old war, according to the MilitaryTimes.com report.
“That’s not to say they haven’t made any progress,” Kirby added. “I think we would continue to assess it as incremental and uneven.”
The Guardian reported that Adrienne Watson, a national security council spokesperson, said intelligence was not provided “with the intent to kill Russian generals”.
The UK paper also noted that American intelligence participation in helping Ukrainian troops track down and kill Russian generals is “a further escalation in what is increasingly becoming a proxy war between the US, with its western allies, and Russian forces in Ukraine.” The report added that the news about the US intelligence apparatus assisting Ukraine to defend herself, comes on the heels of yet another $20 billion in US weaponry that was sent to Ukraine.
Officials in Europe appear to be rattled by the assertions of US intelligence participation in Ukraine. The Guardian reported that one official said, “We have to be very careful on what we are briefing, for two reasons: for the security of the operations on the ground … and because we don’t want to go to war with Russia.”
“I don’t think that the information published in the New York Times on the targeting of Russian generals is accurate,” said one official who was well briefed on the matter. “The reason why Ukrainian forces have succeeded in targeting Russian generals is simply because the Russians implement former Soviet Union doctrines. The Ukrainians are smart enough to know which area they need to target once the Russian troops are deployed on the ground.”
It has also been suggested that a top-down decision-making tradition in the Russian military, combined with a failure of the army’s secure communications systems, has meant that generals have had to come to the frontline to give their orders directly, putting them in the line of fire, according to the report in the Guardian.
The Kremlin said on Thursday it was well aware that the US, Britain and other NATO countries were constantly feeding intelligence to the Ukrainian military and that this would not stop Russia from achieving its objectives, as was reported by the Guardian.
According to the US officials, Washington has given Ukraine details on Russia’s expected troop movements and the location and other information about Russia’s mobile military headquarters, and Ukraine has combined that help with its own intelligence to conduct artillery strikes and other attacks that have killed Russian officers, according to the Guardian report.
The New York Times reported the Biden administration had sought to keep much intelligence secret to avoid provoking Vladimir Putin into a wider war. That cautious calculation appears to have changed in recent weeks, as countries have voiced overt support for Ukraine and supplied far more lethal equipment, including much-needed artillery and ammunition.