US ‘directly’ involved in Ukraine conflict – Moscow
Leading US politicians should be added to a “list of war criminals” as they are now directly participating in “hostilities” in Ukraine, the Chairman of Russia’s State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, claimed on Saturday, citing media reports about alleged intelligence-sharing with Ukraine.
US President Joe Biden has told senior intelligence officials that “counterproductive” leaks about data sharing with Ukraine should stop, NBC reported on Friday.
Although there was no official reaction to the report from the US authorities, Volodin took to Telegram to comment on it. “The United States is taking part in hostilities in Ukraine. US President Biden, demanding to stop leaks about the exchange of intelligence information with Ukraine, admitted that Washington had been exposed,” he wrote.
Volodin said that the Ukrainian government, which he described as the “Kiev Nazi regime,” not only relies on weapons from the West, but also on the “assistance of American intelligence forces.”
The Duma chairman wrote that Washington “essentially coordinates and develops military operations” in Ukraine, and is therefore directly participating in the “hostilities” against Russian forces.
“For the crimes committed in Ukraine by the Kiev Nazi regime, the US leadership should also be held accountable, adding to the list of war criminals,” Volodin concluded.
However, the Pentagon earlier dismissed some of the media reports and specifically denied that the US had provided data allowing Ukrainian forces to strike Russia’s Black Sea flagship ‘Moskva’ off the coast of Odessa last month.
“The Ukrainians have their own intelligence capabilities to track and target Russian naval vessels, as they did in this case,” said US military spokesman John Kirby.
Russia insists that its missile cruiser wasn’t attacked, but sank on April 14 after a fire that had broken out on board caused ammunition to explode.
The White House National Security Council has admitted, however, that the US is “regularly providing detailed, timely intelligence to the Ukrainians on the battlefield to help them defend their country against Russian aggression and will continue to do so.”
This statement apparently did not come as a surprise to Moscow. On May 5, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists that the Russian authorities know the US, the UK and NATO “on a permanent basis” transmit intelligence and other data to Kiev but this would not “hinder the achievement of the goals set during the special military operation.”
Russia attacked its neighboring state following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join NATO. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.