The US has secretly been giving Ukraine real-time battlefield intelligence that directly helped its military kill Russian generals, according to a report — drawing an angry response Thursday from the Kremlin.
Washington had provided crucial intelligence that helped pinpoint Russia’s mobile military headquarters as well as anticipate their movements, The New York Times reported, citing multiple senior US officials.
The intelligence was “decisive” and directly led to Ukraine killing “many” Russian generals, the anonymous officials told the paper, without specifying the number.
Ukraine has previously claimed to have killed at least 12 Russian generals. The report stressed that not all were attributed to the US tip-offs.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin — who met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv last month — has admitted that the US wants “to see Russia weakened to the degree it cannot do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.”
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby confirmed to The Times that the US provides “Ukraine with information and intelligence that they can use to defend themselves,” while refusing to “speak to the details.”
However, the US National Security Council slammed The Times report as misleading and irresponsible.
“The United States provides battlefield intelligence to help the Ukrainians defend their country,” NSC spokesperson Adrienne Watson told Agence France-Presse.
“We do not provide intelligence with the intent to kill Russian generals.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov acknowledged the report Thursday, saying that in response “the Russian military is doing whatever is necessary in this situation.”
“Our military is well aware that the United States, Britain and NATO as a whole are constantly transmitting intelligence and other parameters to the Ukrainian armed forces,” he told reporters.
He acknowledged that the intelligence, along with the supply of weapons from the West, did “not contribute to the quick completion of the (Russian) operation.”
However, he insisted they were “not capable of hindering the achievement of the goals set.”
The response came as Ukraine claimed that five people were killed and at least 25 more wounded in eastern Ukraine over the past 24 hours because of the Russian shelling.
Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Haidai said the Russian troops shelled the region 24 times on Wednesday, hitting the cities of Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Girske and Popasna, damaging at least 23 houses and killing five people.
An overnight shelling of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region wounded at least 25 people, Donetsk governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said Thursday. He added that nine houses, a school and other civilian infrastructure were damaged as the result.
With Post wires