The Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday said Washington was "directly involved" in the war in Ukraine after a Ukrainian official detailed Kyiv’s cooperation with the US before launching strikes with US-provided HIMARS rockets.
Vadym Skibitsky, the deputy head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, told The Telegraph that Ukrainian officials consulted with US officials before launching HIMARS strikes and that the US has veto power over the attacks.
Skibitsky insisted that the US wasn’t providing "direct targeting information," but suggested Ukraine was using satellite imagery provided by the US and Britain. "I can’t tell you whether [we are directly tasking] British and American satellites, but we have very good satellite imagery," Skibitsky said.
Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said that this cooperation "proves that contrary to the assurances by the White House and the Pentagon, Washington is directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine."
The MoD statement said additionally:
"It is the Biden administration that is directly responsible for all Kyiv-approved rocket attacks on residential areas and civilian infrastructure in populated areas of Donbas and other regions, which have resulted in mass deaths of civilians."
The comments from the Russian Defense Ministry highlight the danger of the US’s deep involvement in the war, which risks provoking a response from Moscow. Russian officials have cited US military aid as a reason to push further into Ukrainian territory.
After Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the US expanded intelligence-sharing with Ukraine’s forces, and US officials have bragged to the media that this cooperation helped kill Russian generals and sink a Russian warship.
Ukrainian grain tycoon Oleksiy Vadatursky has been killed by a Russian missile strike on his house in Mykolayiv. Unprecedented, if the strike was targeting him personally.— Leonid ХВ Ragozin (@leonidragozin) July 31, 2022
Video from the scene, purportedly: https://t.co/2QlZZqL9GJ pic.twitter.com/hDhbR5IFVR
Although the claims were not verified, the comments themselves were major provocations toward Moscow.