Above Photo: A Russian tank stuck in the mud in Zavorychi, outside the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, in early April. Daniel Berehulak NYT.
The geniuses (not) at the National Security Council want to goad Russia into direct attacks on U.S. forces or interests. That would give the U.S. an excuse to further escalate the war in Ukraine into an open confrontation. It would also diverts the attention away from domestic problems.
To achieve this the NSC has pushed a number of stories to the media which claim that alleged Ukrainian successes are based on U.S. intelligence.
WASHINGTON — The United States has provided intelligence about Russian units that has allowed Ukrainians to target and kill many of the Russian generals who have died in action in the Ukraine war, according to senior American officials.
Ukrainian officials said they have killed approximately 12 generals on the front lines, a number that has astonished military analysts.
The targeting help is part of a classified effort by the Biden administration to provide real-time battlefield intelligence to Ukraine. That intelligence also includes anticipated Russian troop movements gleaned from recent American assessments of Moscow’s secret battle plan for the fighting in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, the officials said. Officials declined to specify how many generals had been killed as a result of U.S. assistance.
The United States has focused on providing the location and other details about the Russian military’s mobile headquarters, which relocate frequently. Ukrainian officials have combined that geographic information with their own intelligence — including intercepted communications that alert the Ukrainian military to the presence of senior Russian officers — to conduct artillery strikes and other attacks that have killed Russian officers.
The story is obvious bullshit because there are only two Russian generals who have died so far during the Russian campaign in Ukraine.
Major General Andrey Sukhovetsky was killed on February 28 and Major General Vladimir Frolov was killed in early April. Both deaths were immediately officially acknowledged and reported in Russian media. Both men were buried with military honors.
All other ‘killed Russian generals’ are victims of the ‘ghost of Kiev’. The Ukrainian propaganda apparatus likes such stories because it knows that ‘western’ media will pick up on them.
Russia does not hide the death of high officers. It is impossible to do so over longer periods as such men are known by many others. It would be bad for any government to get caught in such a scheme. There is also no reason to do so.
Some U.S. sources claim that a general’s death will demoralize the troops he led. The opposite is the case. Generals getting killed on or near the frontline demonstrate to frontline soldiers that they are not alone in their fighting and that their officers are doing the job while carrying the same high risk than they do.
The Pentagon denied any involvement:
The Pentagon denied Thursday that the U.S. has shared intelligence with Ukraine with the intent of targeting and killing senior Russian military leaders, stressing that the goal of U.S. intelligence is simply to allow Ukrainian forces to defend themselves against Russia’s invasion.
The generals in the Pentagon are keen to not become targets for Russian reprisals.
Here is another such story:
Intelligence shared by the U.S. helped Ukraine sink the Russian cruiser Moskva, U.S. officials told NBC News, confirming an American role in perhaps the most embarrassing blow to Vladimir Putin’s troubled invasion of Ukraine.
A guided missile cruiser carrying a crew of 510, the Moskva was the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. It sank on April 14 after being struck by two Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missiles.
It is in fact still not clear what has happened to the Moskva. Russia only said that the ship had an explosion on board that ripped the hull below the waterline and caused a fire. There are other possibilities but hits by two Ukrainian anti-ship missiles seem unlikely.
The Pentagon again denied any direct involvement:
In a statement released after this story was published, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the U.S. did not provide Ukraine with “specific targeting information for the Moskva.”
“We were not involved in the Ukrainians’ decision to strike the ship or in the operation they carried out,” Kirby added. “We had no prior knowledge of Ukraine’s intent to target the ship. The Ukrainians have their own intelligence capabilities to track and target Russian naval vessels, as they did in this case.”
The last sentence is incorrect as Russia destroyed all Ukrainian naval radars that were stupid enough to radiate.
Russia will not react to such stupid stories. It knows that the U.S. is pushing all kinds of battlefield information as well as weapons to the Ukrainians. It is also assumed that foreign generals are ‘consulting’ the general staff of the Ukrainian forces. Neither will help the Ukraine to win the war.
Over the longer term Russia may well seek revenge for the U.S. proxy war against it. But President Putin is a patient man and revenge is a dish best served cold.