The United States provided valuable information that helped Ukrainian forces locate and target the main ship in the Russian Black Sea Fleet last month, US officials said, another sign that the administration is easing self-imposed restrictions on how far away. he will go so far as to help Ukraine fight its own Russia.
According to the report, the targeted assistance that contributed to the sinking of the flagship Moskva is part of a covert effort in course by the Biden administration to provide information on the battlefield in real time to Ukraine. Officials said intelligence also includes sharing planned Russian troop movements in the Donbass region.
The administration has tried to keep much of the battlefield intelligence secret it shares with Ukrainians for fear of being seen as an escalation and provocation by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his forcing an expansion of the war. But in the past few weeks, the US has stepped up its support for Ukraine with heavy weapons and has asked Congress for an additional $ 33 billion. in military, economic and humanitarian aid, illustrating the rapid transformation of the US position on the issue of support for Ukraine.
Two senior US officials said Ukraine had already obtained Moskva’s targeting data on its own and that the US had only provided confirmation of the information, but other officials said US intelligence is critical to the sinking. of the ship from Ukraine.
On April 13, Ukrainian forces fired two Neptune missiles into the ground, hitting the Moskva and starting a fire that eventually sank the warship. Attention also focused on the proper functioning of the ship’s old radar systems. Ukrainian and US officials said the Moskva may have been distracted by a Turkish-made Bayraktar drone flying nearby.
Immediately after the target, Biden administration officials were meticulously in silence, refusing even to confirm that Moskva had been hit. But in recent days, US officials have confirmed that targeting data from US intelligence sources was provided to Ukraine in the hours leading up to the launch of the Neptune missile.
Officials declined to say what specific information had been relayed, but one official said the information went beyond simply locating the ship in the Black Sea, about 65 nautical miles south of Odessa.
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