The United States military has denied new reports claiming it provided intelligence assistance to Ukraine when it successfully targeted Russia’s prized warship last month with anti-ship cruise missiles.
The report on Thursday, May 4, said Ukrainian forces, having spotted a Russian warship in the Black Sea, called their American contacts for confirmation that it was in fact the Moskva, and the US responded that it was, and provided intelligence about its location.
But the Pentagon has now denied providing “specific targeting information” to Ukraine to sink the Moskva, a Russian guided-missile cruiser that was the flagship of Moscow’s fleet in the Black Sea.
“We did not provide Ukraine with specific targeting information for the Moskva,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby in a statement Thursday night.
“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,” Kirby added.
Ukraine claimed to have struck the ship with two Neptune anti-ship missiles in mid-April.
The ship then sank as it was being towed back to Russia’s seaport for repairs. Russia said the damage to the ship was the result of the detonation of ammunition.