Russia-Ukraine war updates: Women, children, elderly exit steel plant
Russia’s most senior lawmaker, who is one of the Kremlin’s strongest supporters, has accused the United States of “directly participating in military actions” against Russia by providing intelligence to Ukraine.
Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the Russian parliament, claimed without evidence in a Telegram post that the United States was “taking part in hostilities in Ukraine” by giving not just aid and resources but also intelligence.
“Washington is essentially coordinating and developing military operations, thereby directly participating in military actions against our country,” he wrote.
A Pentagon spokesperson declined to comment Saturday.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby addressed the issue of intelligence-sharing on Thursday, saying the U.S. does “not provide intelligence on the location of senior military leaders on the battlefield or participate in the targeting decisions of the Ukrainian military.”
Intelligence shared by the United States with Ukraine, however, has paid off during the course of the war. In April, the United States provided Ukraine with intelligence that helped Kyiv attack and sink the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, the Moskva, in one of the most dramatic battlefield successes of the 71-day-old war, according to people familiar with the matter. The missile strike by Ukrainian forces, which was an extraordinary embarrassment for the Kremlin that deprived Russia of a key vessel in its military campaign, may not have been possible without the U.S. assistance, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
Volodin argued the United States should be “held accountable” for Ukraine’s actions against Russia.
The senior lawmaker was also the latest Russian official to falsely compare Ukraine to Nazi Germany, describing the Ukrainian government as the “Kyiv Nazi regime.” Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin have faced global criticism for using Nazi rhetoric to describe Ukraine. Secretary of State Antony Blinken blasted Putin on Saturday, saying the Russian leader was trying “to twist history” to justify the invasion.
Shane Harris, Paul Sonne, Dan Lamothe and Michael Birnbaum contributed to this report.