The United States helped the Ukrainian armed forces kill "many" of the Russian generals who have died in combat during the Russia-Ukraine war, through the sharing of intelligence, anonymous senior American officials told The New York Times.
U.S. intelligence officials reportedly provided "real-time battlefield intelligence" to the Ukrainian forces, in the form of anticipating Russian troop movements "gleaned from recent American assessments of Moscow's secret battle plan" for attacking the eastern Ukraine region of Donbas, sources told the Times.
The result: Ukrainian officials report approximately 12 Russian generals have been killed in battle.
This classified targeting effort from the Biden administration focused on providing "the location and other details" of the Russian military's constantly changing mobile headquarters.
Ukrainian officials then combined the geographical updates with their own intelligence to conduct artillery strikes and other modes of attack against the Russian officers — some of whom reportedly held senior-level titles.
The Biden administration was quick to publicly denounce Russia for its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which began Feb. 24. The condemnation included sanctions against Moscow and sending military aid packages to Ukraine.
At the same time, U.S. officials had been previously silent about sophisticated intelligence missions like this, perhaps out of fear of Russian President Vladimir Putin viewing these moves as an "escalation attempt," which could lead to a broader war, involving other countries.
It is a fine line to walk, especially with the Russians warning the U.S. on Wednesday about sending more arms to Ukraine.
Citing the Times report, the U.S. intelligence support given to Ukraine has had a "decisive effect on the battlefield."
As such, the "flow of actionable intelligence on the movement of Russian troops that America has given Ukraine has few precedents."
To accomplish this mission, the various U.S. intelligence agencies reportedly relied on a variety of sources, including "classified and commercial satellites" to trace the Russian troop movements.
In recent weeks, the Russians have concentrated most of their strategic military efforts on overtaking eastern Ukraine.
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