by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News May 6, 2022
The Pentagon has denied that the U.S. provided targeting information which helped Ukrainian forces sink the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
The New York Times, NBC News, and CNN all cited senior U.S. officials in reporting on May 5 that information from U.S. intelligence played a role in Ukraine’s sinking of the guided missile cruiser Moskva.
In a statement late Thursday, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said “the Ukrainians have their own intelligence capabilities to track and target Russian naval vessels, as they did in this case.”
“We did not provide Ukraine with specific targeting information for the Moskva,” Kirby added, “We were not involved in the Ukrainians’ decision to strike the ship or in the operation they carried out.”
The New York Times cited unnamed U.S. officials as saying the United States provided “targeting help, which contributed to the eventual sinking of the flagship, the Moskva.”
The intel sharing, the Times report continued, “is part of a continuing classified effort by the Biden administration to provide real-time battlefield intelligence to Ukraine. That intelligence also includes sharing anticipated Russian troop movements, gleaned from a recent American assessment of Moscow’s battle plan for the fighting in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.”
On April 13, Ukrainian forces on the ground fired two Neptune missiles, striking the Moskva and igniting a fire that eventually led to the sinking of the warship. It was the first Russian warship to be sunk since World War II.
The Kremlin claims an onboard fire caused a munitions explosion that resulted in the ship sinking. Russian news outlets based outside the country have reported that about 40 men died and an additional 100 were injured when the warship was damaged and sank.
Fox News quoted a senior U.S. defense official as saying “we do provide a range of intelligence to help the Ukrainians understand the threat posed by Russian ships in the Black Sea and to help them prepare to defend against potential sea-based assaults.”
“Many of the missiles fired at Ukraine have come from Russian ships in the Black Sea, and those ships could be used to support an assault on cities like Odesa,” the official added.