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WAR IN EUROPE

US not providing Ukraine with intel on targets inside Russia – Pentagon

Members of Ukraine’s Territorial Defence Forces check their weapons during training on 27 February 2023 near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Roman Pilipey / Getty Images)

The United States is not providing Ukraine with intelligence for targets inside Russia, the Pentagon said on Thursday, calling the Russian accusations ‘nonsense'.

Russian President Vladimir Putin last week warned the West over the war in Ukraine and said Moscow was suspending its participation in the latest Start treaty after accusing the West of being directly involved in attempts to strike its strategic air bases.

“I don’t have any information in regards to whether or not the Ukrainians have conducted these type of operations, I’d refer you to them,” Pentagon spokesperson Brigadier General Pat Ryder told reporters.

“I can say definitively that the notion of the US providing intelligence or information to the Ukrainians to target locations inside Russia is nonsense. We are [neither] at war with Russia, nor do we seek war with Russia,” Ryder said.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday that Moscow had been forced to suspend its participation in the New START nuclear arms control treaty because Washington was using it to help Ukraine attack Russian strategic sites. Read full story

In separate comments to reporters after his speech, Ryabkov alleged that Ukraine would have been unable to target Russian infrastructure with drone attacks without U.S. help.

Earlier this week, a drone crashed near a natural gas distribution station southeast of Moscow in an apparent failed attack 110km (68 miles) from the centre of the Russian capital, the regional governor said. Read full story

Ukraine does not publicly claim responsibility for attacks inside Russia. If it was behind the Kolomna incident, it would be its closest attempted drone strike to the Russian capital since Russia invaded Ukraine just over a year ago.

The United States has been providing Ukraine with details on Russia’s troop movements inside Ukraine and Kyiv has combined that help with its own intelligence to conduct artillery strikes and other attacks against them and their weapons.

President Joe Biden’s administration has provided nearly $32-billion in military aid to Ukraine in the last year, including drones, long-range artillery systems, and air defence capabilities.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama.)

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