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U.S. officials have revealed that Ukraine used U.S. intelligence to sink the Russian warship Moskva last month, NBC News reported.
“The attack happened after Ukrainian forces asked the Americans about a ship sailing in the Black Sea south of Odesa, U.S. officials told NBC News,” the news outlet reported. “The U.S. identified it as the Moskva, officials said, and helped confirm its location, after which the Ukrainians targeted the ship.”
Officials reportedly told NBC News that they did not know Ukraine would use U.S. intelligence to attack the Russian warship. The officials also confirmed that the U.S. was not involved in any decision to launch missiles at the Moskva. “Maritime intelligence is shared with Ukraine to help it defend against attack from Russian ships, officials added,” according to NBC.
Russia initially denied that Ukrainian missiles had destroyed their flagship, claiming the ship sank after an ammunition explosion and fire.
“The 12,500 tonne ship has a crew of around 500,” Reuters reported at the time. “Russian news agencies said the Moskva was armed with 16 anti-ship ‘Vulkan’ cruise missiles, which have a range of at least 700 km (440 miles).”
The new information from U.S. officials comes after President Joe Biden made multiple comments that could be viewed by Russia as escalating tensions.
In March, Biden told U.S. troops in Poland they would see the bravery of Ukrainians when they were “there.” The next day, he seemingly called for Putin to be removed from office, saying he “cannot remain in power.”
“Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia, for free people refuse to live in a world of hopelessness and darkness. We will have a different future, a brighter future, rooted in democracy and principle, hope and light, of decency and dignity of freedom and possibilities,” he said.
Biden added, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”
Then in early April, Biden doubled down on calling Putin “a war criminal” after reports surfaced of civilians being killed in Bucha. “You may remember I got criticized for calling Putin a war criminal,” the president said. “Well, the truth of the matter, you saw what happened in Bucha. This warrants — he is a war criminal.”