The slaughter among Russian generals astonished military analysts. Since the start of the war in Ukraine, twelve of them have been killed near the front, according to announcements by Ukrainian officials. In April, the adviser to the Ukrainian president, Mykhaïlo Podoliak had described as” extraordinary “ the death rate of these senior officers, blaming it on “total unpreparedness” of the Moscow army, adding that “Dozens of mid-ranking officers were killed”.
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the New York Times has just revealed a track of explanation: the American intelligence would have helped the Ukrainian army to target and eliminate some of these officers. The New York daily is based on the concordant declarations of several “senior American officials” who requested anonymity. Information that the American administration “sought to keep secret (…), lest they be seen as an escalation and provoke Russian President Vladimir Putin into a wider war”continues the American media.
A thin border with belligerence
“The United States has focused on providing the location and other details of the mobile Russian military headquarters, which moves frequently”explains the New York Times, this Thursday, May 5. Intelligence that the Ukrainian army allegedly combined with its own information, to carry out artillery strikes and other attacks against Russian generals. Since the start of the war, it has emerged that senior Russian officers have been particularly exposed, very close to the front, by communicating via unsecured telephones and radios.
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Intelligence sharing is a dark and secretive part of US assistance to Ukraine. Particular targeting of senior Russian officers could narrow the fine line that separates the Americans from cobelligerency, as the Pentagon chief recently said he wants “to see Russia weakened to such a degree that it cannot do the same sort of things as the invasion of Ukraine”. A strategy whose editorial writers New York Times have – like Marianne – highlighted the risks, indicating: “Our goal started out simple and must remain simple: to help Ukrainians fight while they have the will and to help them negotiate when they feel the time is right”. No more.
Sign of the tension that these revelations arouse, they were quickly denied by the American administration. The US National Security Council (NSC) has called“irresponsible” the claim that the United States was helping Ukraine kill Russian generals, adding that battlefield intelligence had not been provided to the Ukrainians “with the intention of killing Russian generals”.
“We opened the pipes”
According to New York Times, the United States would however refrain from giving the Ukrainian army information on the location of the most senior officials, so as not to provoke an escalation. Thus, according to their information, the American services would not have participated in the attack which targeted the highest ranking officer of the Russian army, Valery Gerasimov, wounded this weekend in Ukraine.
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It appears, however, that the reinforcement of American intelligence has a major effect on the course of the war. “There is a significant amount of intelligence coming from the United States to Ukraine”General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, acknowledged on Tuesday before the US Senate. “We opened the pipes”, he continued. Also, new arms deliveries could further facilitate targeted strikes. In particular, the United States has planned to supply Ukraine with a small suicide drone – the Switchblade – designed to kill individual soldiers.