American intelligence support was decisive on the battlefield and contributed to the loss of morale of the invading troops.
The US Secret Service helped the Ukrainian military locate and kill Russian generals on the battlefield. The information was provided by the New York Times, which quoted an official source on condition of anonymity, without specifying the number. But, according to the Ukrainian authorities, 12 Russian generals have died on the front since the start of the war.
The same source explained that the information shared by the United States with the Ukrainian army is essentially based on the communication of what is happening on the ground and on the anticipation of Russian troop movements, namely the location of the invader’s command posts, which change frequently.
According to the newspaper, the support of American intelligence has been decisive on the battlefield, since, thanks to this geographical information, the Ukrainian forces are able to locate and attack previously identified targets.
The publication even points out that the flow of information shared by the United States towards Ukraine “is unprecedented”. So what explains this unprecedented support for Ukrainian troops? According to researcher Diana Soller, an expert in international relations, several factors motivate the involvement of the United States.
First of all, he begins by saying, because “the United States had, from an early age, the perception that this war was going to change the security borders of Europe and the international order in general” . “In other words, Russia’s intervention in Ukraine is not only related to regional issues – it is also related to a larger issue that has to do with the fact that Russia is an autocracy that has an unlimited alliance with China, which is seen by the United States as the greatest enemy it will face in the years to come,” he explains.
Furthermore, he adds, “part of the reason Russia is waging this war is that it wants to be seen in the international system as a great power.” “Russia is the first state that [desde a Guerra Fria] is prepared to use force to regain the borders. If that happens, it will have very strong implications for how the international order is going to be reorganized and what rules will henceforth dictate relations between states,” he observes.
Moreover, he underlines, the United States, known as “leaders of the free world”, has every interest in fighting for the strengthening of Western democracies, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has insisted on the fact that this fight for Ukraine’s freedom is also a fight for the right to be a democracy.
The United States therefore has a very clear objective in this war, which has already been mentioned by the American Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin. “May Russia come out of this conflict weakened”, recalls the expert.
“Which means that the United States not only intends that Russia does not win the war, but that when this conflict ends and peace is negotiated, Russia will emerge from this war as a state that has no more power to act in the international system. . “, Explain.
The international relations researcher explains that, since the United States does not want to get directly involved in the conflict (for fear that if it does, “China will attack Taiwan the next day), they chose, as soon as the beginning of the conflict, to “support Ukraine by all means except military intervention”.
The new advance by the New York Times is therefore not a reason for surprise, believes Diana Soller. “Most likely, the United States provided very direct intelligence data to Ukraine. And I admit that this data was used not only to stop counterattacks, but also to try to demoralize and stop the Russian army.”
The US Department of Defense, however, denied providing information on the location of Russian generals on the battlefield so that Ukrainian forces could kill them. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby admitted that it is true that the United States provides military intelligence to forces in kyiv “to help the Ukrainians defend their country”, but Ukraine makes its own decisions. whether or not to attack a Russian leader.
“We do not provide intelligence on the location of high-ranking military leaders on the battlefield or participate in Ukrainian military leadership decisions,” Kirby was quoted by CNN International as saying. The White House National Security Council classified the New York Times report. as “irresponsible”.
How does secret service intelligence sharing work?
Speaking to CNN Portugal, Major General Agostinho Costa explains that the US secret service uses satellite systems and aerial assets to locate command posts where Russian generals are located and then shares information with the Ukrainian military, which then bombards the respective area.
This aerial surveillance work in the specific conflict is in the hands of NATO, in particular the United States, since the surveillance capabilities of the Ukrainian army “are limited”, since it does not have the necessary means to do it.
But, according to the expert, this strategy of attacking command posts “has always been practiced” in a war situation, because “the probability that the commander who is there dies is great”. The Major General also points out that the Russians also used this strategy, when, for example, they attacked Ukrainian arms depots.
Researcher Diana Soller also considers that there is a possibility of ground espionage: “There is no reason to think that ground intelligence is something that is finished.
Will Russia retaliate?
The international relations specialist points out that it is the disclosure of this information – although the identity of the official source has not been revealed – which could trigger a reaction from the Russian side. But the investigator admits having doubts about the ability of Moscow troops to retaliate against the United States.
“The Russians have repeatedly warned that any intervention by foreign actors in the war could lead to retaliation, but there has been none, at least so far, apart from the [retaliações] economic problems, such as the gas cut to Poland and Bulgaria,” he recalls.
But if Russia decides to go ahead with military retaliation, the researcher rules out the possibility of a nuclear-weapon attack – something that has been underscored by many analysts after the Kremlin announced it would had put its nuclear forces on high alert.
For the expert, this nuclear issue looks more like “a rhetoric of war to frighten the West, especially Europe, than a real threat”. Even because “an all-out nuclear attack would be suicidal for Russia itself.”
“I think the nuclear hypothesis is not really on the table, but it has been used as a deterrent to make the West fear Russia,” he argues.