Sinking of Russian warship Moskva enabled by US intelligence: Report

The role the U.S. played in the sinking of the Moskva comes after reports on Thursday detailed how intelligence the U.S. has provided helped Ukrainian forces kill Russian generals

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Friday, May 06, 2022, 11:38 AM IST
article-image
Smoke billows from the damaged Russian ship Moskva on April 15, 2022 | Twitter/@Osinttechnical

The United States shared the location of the Russian warship Moskva with Ukrainian forces before an explosion that led to its sinking, according to an anonymous American source cited by the Associated Press news agency.

The role the U.S. played in the sinking of the Moskva comes after reports on Thursday detailed how intelligence the U.S. has provided helped Ukrainian forces kill Russian generals.

Without providing specifics, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters Thursday that the U.S. has been providing Ukraine useful battlefield intelligence throughout the war as Ukraine defends itself – but Kirby said the Pentagon does not provide intelligence on the location of senior military leaders on the battlefield or participate in the targeting decisions of the Ukrainian military.

Ukraine attacked the Moskva, the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, with anti-ship missiles in April.

A US official — who spoke anonymously — said the US provided "a range of intelligence" that included locations of the ship.

On Thursday, local time, the official said the US was not aware that Ukraine planned to strike the Moskva until after Ukrainian forces had conducted the operation.

The episode, first reported by NBC News, reflects the Biden administration's increasingly forward-leaning posture when it comes to sharing intelligence with Ukraine, part of a broader policy shift toward helping Ukraine defeat Russia decisively on the battlefield and significantly weaken its military.

But it also raises questions about what the red lines are for the US and Russia when it comes to US military support to Ukraine.

The US has for months provided Ukrainian forces with intelligence about Russian troop movements inside Ukraine, including intercepted communications about Russian military planning. It also provides Ukraine with maritime awareness information to allow the country to better understand the threat posed by Russian ships in the Black Sea, many of which are firing missiles onto Ukrainian territory.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby denied earlier media reports that the US was providing information about the locations of senior Russian generals on the battlefield, so that Ukrainian forces could kill them.

"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," he said.

Mr Kirby said Ukraine combined information that the US and others provided with their own battlefield intelligence.

"Then they make their own decisions, and they take their own actions," he said.

The White House National Security Council (NSC) also denied the US was helping Ukraine target senior Russian officers. "We do not provide intelligence with the intent to kill Russian generals," NSC spokesperson Adrienne Watson said.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

RECENT STORIES

Mumbai: Samajwadi Party MLA Rais Shaikh raises questions over BMC's functioning

Mumbai: Samajwadi Party MLA Rais Shaikh raises questions over BMC's functioning

FTA between India, UK could be ready by Diwali, says Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal

FTA between India, UK could be ready by Diwali, says Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal

Meltwater Champions Chess Tour: India's boy wonder Praggnanandhaa loses to Ding Liren

Meltwater Champions Chess Tour: India's boy wonder Praggnanandhaa loses to Ding Liren

Mumbai: Worli's Love Grove flyover repairs stuck for want of traffic police permission

Mumbai: Worli's Love Grove flyover repairs stuck for want of traffic police permission

Elon Musk sued by Twitter shareholders for alleged stock manipulation

Elon Musk sued by Twitter shareholders for alleged stock manipulation