U.S. “directly” involved in Ukraine fighting 

August 3, 2022 - 19:31

The role of American intelligence in the Ukraine conflict is under the spotlight after Russia accused the U.S. of providing the military intelligence for long-range missile strikes while Washington announces a fresh multi-million dollar military package for Kyiv.

Russia’s defense ministry said Washington was “directly involved” in the conflict, and had passed on intelligence that had led to the “mass deaths of civilians”. The U.S. has been responsible for missile attacks on populated civilian areas in the eastern Donbas and in other regions, it said.

The ministry has accused the Pentagon of providing the coordinates for the launching of missile strikes by U.S.-made HIMARS systems.

“The supply of weapons is accompanied not only by instructions on its use but in this case they perform the function of gunners in their purest form.”

"All this undeniably proves that Washington, contrary to White House and Pentagon claims, is directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine," the defense ministry said in a statement.

The White House or the Pentagon have declined to make any remarks on the Russian accusation. 

The Russian military has announced on several occasions that it had destroyed six U.S.-made HIMARS rocket systems since the conflict in Ukraine kicked off on February 24. Moscow has regularly said it has struck Western weapons and other depots containing sophisticated and advanced Western weapon systems. 

The U.S. has provided Ukraine 16 Himars systems so far. This week four more arrived.

The accuracy and long range of the missile systems provided by the West were allegedly intended to reduce Russia's artillery advantage, but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, while welcoming the supplies, has been cited as saying that his country's forces could not yet overcome Russian advantages in heavy guns and manpower.

Russia has accused NATO of waging a "proxy war" against it by arming Ukraine and imposing unprecedented sanctions on Moscow while trying to expand the U.S.-led military alliance eastwards toward Russian borders triggering the conflict in the first place.

U.S. President Joe Biden has said he wants Ukraine to defeat Russia and has supplied military assistance to Kyiv to the tune of almost nine billion dollars now but American officials claim they do not want a direct confrontation between U.S. and Russian soldiers.

This week, the U.S. announced it will send another $550 million in new weapons to Ukraine, the White House said, further increasing the total American investment in the fighting. 

The new package will comprise rocket launchers and ammunition along with the HIMARS which has gained a lot of attention over the past few months. 

The U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said that the latest weapons package will “include more ammunition for the high mobility advanced rocket systems otherwise known as HIMARS, as well as ammunition” for artillery.

According to the official statement, the package is worth around $550 million, and it will include around 75,000 rounds of 155 mm artillery ammunition along with other weapons.

“To meet its evolving battlefield requirements, the United States will continue to work with its allies and partners to provide Ukraine with key capabilities,” the statement said.

The total military assistance provided by the U.S. to Ukraine currently stands at $8.8 billion since the fighting broke out in late February 2022.

The former UK Labour opposition party leader Jeremy Corbyn has called on western countries to stop arming Ukraine. 

“Pouring arms in isn’t going to bring about a solution, it’s only going to prolong and exaggerate this war,” Corbyn said. “We might be in for years and years of a war in Ukraine.”

“What I find disappointing is that hardly any of the world’s leaders use the word peace; they always use the language of more war and more bellicose war.”

Speaking to Al Mayadeen news channel he pointed out that “expanding NATO isn't going to bring about a longer-term peace, [but it] will only bring about greater, greater strain and greater stress."

"Then the world woke up and suddenly realized that Russia and Ukraine are the world's biggest grain exporters and something has to be done. So they came to an agreement, and I hope it holds, to export grain through Odessa and through the Bosphorus to the rest of the world. That is a good move, but at the same time, putting more and more arms into Ukraine isn't going to bring about it [peace]."

Corbyn continued, "Ukrainians are dying. Ukrainians are going into exile here; Thousands and thousands. And Russian soldiers are dying, conscripted. Young Russian soldiers are dying. This war is disastrous for the people of Ukraine, for the people of Russia, and for the safety and security of the whole world. And therefore, there has to be much more effort put into peace."

The ex-Labour party leader called for the United Nations to be “much more center stage”, and suggested involving other international bodies such as the African Union or the League of Arab States if the UN were unable to help negotiate a ceasefire.

Corbyn also touched on the double standards of European policy toward refugees saying "Europe has been very welcoming of Ukrainian refugees, and that's good, that's right. Sadly, they're not so welcoming and not so enabling of refugees coming from Yemen or anywhere else."

Meanwhile, a July 22 UN-brokered deal to unblock the export of Ukrainian grain has had initial success. Turkey said that the first loaded ship since Russia's military operation more than five months ago was safely anchored off the Turkish coast.

The vessel, the Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni was at the entrance of the Bosphorus Strait, which connects the Black Sea to world markets, around 1800 GMT on Tuesday, some 36 hours after leaving the Ukrainian port of Odesa.

Turkey's Defense Ministry says a delegation from the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) in Istanbul, where Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish, and UN personnel work, is set to inspect the ship on Wednesday. It was loaded with up to 26,527 tons of corn.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York "we hope that there will be some more outbound movement tomorrow”. He said there were about 27 ships in the three Ukrainian ports covered by the export deal that were ready to go.

The exports from one of the world's top grain producers are intended to help ease the global food crisis.

"Our goal now is to have an orderly schedule so when one ship leaves port there should be other vessels – both those loading and those approaching the port," Zelensky said.

Russia has hailed the Razoni's departure as "very positive" news. It rejected Western accusations of responsibility for the food crisis, saying Western sanctions have slowed its exports. This week, the U.S. Treasury Department expanded the sanctions against Russia. 

The former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder says the deal between Moscow and Kyiv to unblock grain exports may offer a way forward to a possible ceasefire.

"The good news is that the Kremlin wants a negotiated solution," Schroeder told the media, adding he had met Putin in Moscow last week.

"A first success is the grain deal, perhaps that can be slowly expanded to a ceasefire,"

The ex-German chancellor added that solutions to crucial problems could be found over time, "maybe not over 99 years, like Hong Kong, but in the next generation". He said an alternative to NATO membership for Ukraine could be Kyiv being armed neutrality, like Austria.

Leave a Comment

0 + 0 =