US intel helped Ukraine sink Moskva

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US provided “a range of intelligence” that includes locations of ship, said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity….reports Asian Lite News

The US says it shared intelligence with Ukraine about the location of the Russian missile cruiser Moskva prior to the strike that sank the warship, an incident that was a high-profile failure for Russia’s military.

An American official said Thursday that Ukraine alone decided to target and sink the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet using its own anti-ship missiles. But given Russia’s attacks on the Ukrainian coastline from the sea, the US has provided “a range of intelligence” that includes locations of those ships, said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Biden administration has ramped up intelligence sharing with Ukraine alongside the shipment of arms and missiles to help it repel Russia’s invasion. The disclosure of US support in the Moskva strike comes as the White House is under pressure from Republicans to do more to support Ukraine’s resistance and as polls suggest Americans question whether President Joe Biden is being tough enough on Russia.

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion in February, the White House has tried to balance supporting Ukraine, a democratic ally, against not doing anything that would seem to provoke a direct war between Putin and the US and NATO allies. As the war has gone on, the White House has ramped up its military and intelligence support, removing some time and geographic limits on what it will tell Ukraine about potential Russian targets.

The official who spoke Thursday said the US was not aware that Ukraine planned to strike the Moskva until after they conducted the operation. NBC News first reported on the American role in the sinking of the ship.

Speaking earlier Thursday after a New York Times report about the US role in supporting Ukraine’s killing of Russian generals, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said American agencies “do not provide intelligence on the location of senior military leaders on the battlefield or participate in the targeting decisions of the Ukrainian military.”

“Ukraine combines information that we and other partners provide with the intel that they themselves are gathering and then they make their own decisions and they take their own actions,” Kirby said.

Ukraine launches fundraising platform

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced the launch of United24, a global fundraising platform to collect donations for the war-torn nation.

In his latest video address, Zelensky said that it is expected that this platform will become the main channel for collecting donations in support of Kiev, Ukrayinska Pravda reported.

“Fundraising is only the first part of the United24 initiative, and other projects and programs will soon join it,” the President said.

United24 makes it possible to make a donation in one click from any country through the site u24.gov.ua.

Funds will distributed over three areas of assistance defence and demining; humanitarian and medical care; and the reconstruction of Ukraine.

“Donate to protect. Donate to save. Donate to rebuild,” said Zelensky.

All funds will be automatically transferred to the accounts of the National Bank of Ukraine and assigned to the Ministries of Defence, Health and Infrastructure.

The bank will report on the receipt of charitable contributions through United24 every 24 hours, while the Ministries will report on how contributions are being assigned once a week.

Zelensky holds talks with British, Israel PM

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that he had separate conversations with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Zelensky tweeted that he discussed future joint international legal events and the issues of defensive support for Ukraine at the talks with Johnson.

The Ukrainian leader said he thanked Johnson for addressing the Ukrainian parliament earlier this week.

Commenting on the conversation with Steinmeier, Zelensky said it was “good, constructive, and important”.

The Ukrainian president said he informed his German counterpart about the situation on the frontline, in particular in Mariupol, and voiced the hope that Germany’s support for Ukraine would be intensified.

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