Russian pol accuses U.S. of ‘directly participating’ in hostilities; CIA chief warns Putin ‘doubling down’

On a Saturday post on social media, Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin accused the United States of “directly participating” in hostilities against Russia as Moscow continues to wage war on neighboring Ukraine.

“This is not only about the supply of weapons and equipment,” posted on Telegram, adding that Ukraine received “the aid of American intelligence forces.”

“After the coup d’état, foreign advisers and instructors are working in Ukraine,” Volodin continued. “But today, Washington essentially coordinates and develops military operations, thereby directly participating in the hostilities against our country.”

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby has denied such allegations, acknowledging on Thursday that the U.S. is giving intelligence to Ukraine, but not the “location to senior military leaders on the battlefield,” according to The Hill.

“The United States provides battlefield intelligence to help Ukrainians defend their country, and we’ve talked about that quite a bit,” Kirby stated to the press. “We do not provide intelligence on the location of senior military leaders on the battlefield or participate in the targeting decisions of the Ukrainian military. The Ukrainians have, quite frankly, a lot more information than we do.”

As BizPac Review reported, a recent report claimed the United States played a hands-on role in the sinking of the Russian Navy’s warship Moskva in mid-April.

“We did not provide Ukraine with specific targeting information for the Moskva,” Kirby said in a statement. “We were not involved in the Ukrainians’ decision to strike the ship or the operation they carried out.”

What we did do, Kirby acknowledged, is give Ukraine “what we believe to be relevant and timely information about Russian units that will allow them to adjust and execute their self defense to the best of their ability.”

 

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki echoed Kirby’s denials, dismissing the report as “inaccurate.”

“Well, let me first say, to speak to the reports: They’re inaccurate,” Psaki stated. “We 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. 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.”

Meanwhile, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns warned that Putin will likely double-down on Ukraine, despite disappointing military setbacks.

“He’s in a frame of mind in which he doesn’t believe he can afford to lose,” Burns said at a Financial Times event in Washington. “I think he’s convinced right now that doubling down still will enable him to make progress.”

Regarding the possibility of Putin deploying tactical nuclear weapons should the West directly intervene in Russia’s fight with Ukraine, Burns said there was no evidence at this time that Putin would make such a drastic move, but added that we shouldn’t take the possibility “lightly.”

“We don’t see, as an intelligence community, practical evidence at this point of Russian planning for the deployment or even potential use of tactical nuclear weapons,” Burns said, according to France 24.

“Given the kind of saber-rattling that… we’ve heard from the Russian leadership, we can’t take lightly those possibilities,” he added. “So we stay very sharply focused as an intelligence service… on those possibilities at a moment when the stakes are very high for Russia.”

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