Yoruk Isik / Reuters
WAR IN UKRAINE – This is an American version of “And at the same time”. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the West and in particular the United States have been progressing on a fine line of crest, assisting the attacked without the aggressors being able to see in it an entry into war which could precipitate the world in a worrying escalation.
And these days, the narrow gray zone in which Americans operate reveals how tenuous it really is. This around one issue: US intelligence assistance to Ukrainians.
A case that began on Wednesday May 4, when the New York Times revealed that the Americans were providing information to kyiv in order to hit Russian military figures near the front lines. Thus, on May 2, for example, Washington announced that the Russian Chief of Staff, Valéri Guerassimov, had recently visited the Donbass. A man who is now rumored to have battle injuries.
The United States denies
In total, since the start of the conflict, twelve Kremlin generals have reportedly been killed by Ukraine. A figure that stuns observers and analysts.
However, according to information from the New York daily, which quotes American military sources, if the Ukrainian troops display such a hunting list, it is in particular thanks to the aid provided by Washington. Just as the United States would have provided crucial intelligence to Ukraine about the Russian reorganization in the Donbass.
Information firmly denied by the United States this Thursday, May 5. John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, admitted that his country provided data to Ukraine “to help Ukrainians defend their country”, but he denied any assistance that would contribute to offensive action.
“We do not provide information on the location of senior military commanders on the battlefield, nor do we participate in targeting decisions made by the Ukrainian military,” said John Kirby. And the US National Security Council went further by calling the revelations “irresponsible”.
What about Moskva?
Except that the New York Times was not confined to these first revelations. In a second salvo, published Thursday evening and confirmed by the news channel NBC News, the reference newspaper across the Atlantic added that American intelligence had also allowed the Moskva, flagship ship of the Russian navy, to be sunk that the Ukrainians have succeeded in striking in the Black Sea.
A success for Ukraine that looks like a humiliation for Moscow, especially if it turns out that the United States contributed to it. But according to New York Timesafter a request for information from the Ukrainians about a ship present in the Black Sea, it would be the Americans who identified and located the building, allowing the strike.
Information denied, again, by American military sources. A senior official told Agence France Presse: “We are providing a range of intelligence to help Ukrainians better understand the threats posed by Russian ships in the Black Sea and to help them prepare for defense against potential attacks from the sea”, he assures, while denying having provided data as precise as those which would have been used to sink the Moskva.
Russia ready to respond
And for good reason: as reported this week by the washington postanother major daily in the United States, Russia does not appreciate this decisive involvement of the Americans in what they continue to describe as a “special operation”.
Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, told the state news agency RIA Novosti that Russia was “well aware that the United States, Great Britain and the countries of the NATO as a whole is passing intelligence and data to Ukrainian troops.” And to add that “of course”, the Russian forces would respond if it resulted in the death of Russian generals or significant losses.
A threat that has its effect, especially since the press reveals information on this subject. In his article on the Moskva, the New York Times thus speaks of an American-Ukrainian cooperation that “the administration of Joe Biden tries to keep secret for fear of being seen as contributing to an escalation and that this pushes Russian President Vladimir Putin to embark on a conflict of yet greater magnitude”. Proof that the longer the war lasts, the more the crest line shrinks for Westerners.
See also on the HuffPost: At the White House Correspondents’ Gala, Russia and the war in Ukraine were on everyone’s lips