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US spies have been helping Ukraine’s military with intelligence about the movements of its Kremlin invaders, and at least eight generals have been killed.
Officials reaveled to NBC News on Tuesday that American intelligence played a crucial role in the country’s successful campaigns so far, and have helped the Ukranian government by repeatedly flagging the time and location of Putin’s planned strikes.
‘From the get-go, we leaned pretty heavily forward in sharing both strategic and actionable intelligence with Ukraine,’ an unnamed US official who agreed to speak to the outlet under the condition of anonymity said.
‘It’s been impactful both at a tactical and strategic level. There are examples where you could tell a pretty clear story that this made a major difference.’
A former senior intelligence official also told NBC News of the de facto alliance: ‘There has been a lot of real-time intelligence shared in terms of things that could be used for specific targeting of Russian forces.’
The ex-official revealed that much of the funneled information consists of commercial satellite images, ‘but also a lot of other intelligence about, for example, where certain types of Russian units are active.’
On Tuesday, an analysis by independent Russian outlet MediaZona revealed that 317 officers of junior lieutenant rank and above have been killed in Putin’s so-far failed invasion, in a little over two months of fighting. At least eight generals have been killed.
Almost a third of the casualties came from the most senior grades – major or above – including a slew of generals and the deputy commander of Russia’s Black Sea fleet.
Mikhail Nagamov, 41 (left), and Alexander Chirva (right), are two of the most-recent officers Russia has admitted died in its war on Ukraine. US officials said Tuesday that it’s been providing intelligence to Ukraine’s government that has helped their military in several operations
Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky, the deputy commander of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, is one of the highest-ranking commanders that Russia has acknowledged were killed fighting in Ukraine. He was shot dead in February by a sniper. The US provided intel to Ukraine before the battle
Last week, in one of the most recent blows to the Russia larger and better equipped war machine, Moscow admitted yet another officer, Col. Mikhail Nagamov, had been killed in action, on April 13 – reportedly the 35th colonel to do so.
His death was announced just hours after the death of Alexander Chirva, captain of the Caesar Kunikov tank landing ship – which was blown up by a Ukrainian air strike in in the port of Berdyansk.
Major General Vladimir Frolov, meanwhile, the deputy commander of the 8th Combined Arms Army and one of Putin’s most senior officers, was also killed earlier this month – the eighth general to die in the conflict.
The steady stream of high-ranking soldier deaths comes as it’s been estimated that between 15,000 and 22,000 Russian troops have been slain in combat by Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s army – with Moscow only owning up to a fraction of those deaths.
Major General Vladimir Frolov, the deputy commander of the 8th Combined Arms Army and one of Putin’s most senior officers, was killed earlier this month – the eighth general to die in the conflict. Pictured is his grave in St. Petersburg
Days earlier, two other majors, Lieutenant General Yakov Rezantsev (left) and Major-General Oleg Mityaev (right) were killed during a battle in Mariupol
Putin lost another two of his highest-ranked men, in Major General Andrei Kolesnikov of the 29th Combined Arms Army and Major General Vitaly Gerasimov, in the same battle outside Kharkiv on March 11. Information provided by US spies and the CIA helped Ukraine in battle
The partnership between the US and Ukraine – which unprecedented due to Ukraine’s status as a non-NATO nation – has led to a number of successful militarchy operations, the official told the outlet, including Ukraine’s successful attack on a Russian IL-76 transport plane carrying hundreds of troops in Kiev in February.
The planned assault was successfully repelled thanks to the near-real-time intelligence provided by the US, the officials revealed to NBC, foiling Putin’s planned strike on a key airport in capital.
The intelligence provided by the US has allowed Ukrainian forces to know where to strike, what Russian units are active and which are decoys, and where the invading forces plan to bomb, the officials said.
The officials told the outlet that the secret operations have saved countless Ukrainian lives and military equipment, and have caused Moscow to waste valuable time and ammunition in their ongoing assault.
‘The Russian military has literally been cratering empty fields where air defenses were once set up,’ the official said after Ukrainian forces were moved following a US tip. ‘It has had an enormous impact on the Russian military’s ability on the ground.’
The US Intelligence has allowed the Ukraine to predict where Russian forces are planning to attack as well as where the opposition is based, officials and the White House said
In February, Moscow lost General Magomed Tushaev – the first Russian general to fall in the invasion – who was killed when his Chechen special forces column of more than 56 tanks and thousands of infantry was destroyed by a Ukrainian air strike northeast of Hostomel. The US provided information that aided Ukraine in their military operations
The White House National Security Council confirmed the existence of the partnership in a statement Tuesday.
‘We are regularly providing detailed, timely intelligence to the Ukrainians on the battlefield to help them defend their country against Russian aggression and will continue to do so,’ a representative said.
Officials also told NBC that the stream of information detailing the Kremlin’s planned missile, bomb, and infantry strikes enabled Ukrainian fighters to preemptively strike an airborne Russian transport plane heading to Hostomel airport, 30 miles outside Kyiv, in March.
The attack proved paramount in the battle to save then-under-siege Kiev, weakening and discouraging Putin’s forces who again failed to secure a tactical position at the airfield.
Top Russian general Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky was subsequently shot dead in the ensuing battle by a Ukrainian sniper – a major blow to the morale and leadership of Moscow’s military.
Another official added that the CIA has also been funneling information to Ukrainian forces, on how they can best protect and transport its leaders, including President Zelenskyy, currently a prime target for Russian invaders, NBC reported.
The official said the agency is currently consulting with Ukraine on ‘how best to move him around, making sure that he’s not co-located with his entire chain of command, things like that.’
Since the war began, Russia has lost a total of 873 tanks, 2,238 armored vehicles, 179 planes, 154 helicopters and 408 artillery systems due to Ukraine’s assault
The official revealed that the CIA has been active in Ukraine since Russia seized Crimea in 2014, helping the Eastern European country oust Russian spies.
‘There has been a very robust relationship between U.S. intel agencies and the Ukrainians for the last eight years,’ the official said, noting it was this bond that allowed the US to readily share its information with Ukraine when Russia began its invasion.
The previously unreported operation, they said, has proved to be a crucial role in the success Zelenskyy’s army has seen against Putin’s markedly more powerful and technologically advanced army, and has seen a sizable portion of Putin’s most senior men wiped out.
Kyiv claims to have killed more than 22,000 Russian troops fighting in Ukraine since Putin declared the start of a ‘special military operation’ on February 24 (file)
Last month, Putin lost its seventh general, Lieutenant-General Andrei Mordvichev, commander of the 8th Combined Arms Army, in combat in the city of Chornobaivka, near the southern city of Kherson on March 19.
Days earlier, two other majors, Major-General Oleg Mityaev and Lieutenant General Yakov Rezantsev, were killed during a battle in Mariupol.
The demoralizing deaths came just over a week after Putin lost another two of his highest-ranked men, in Major General Andrei Kolesnikov of the 29th Combined Arms Army and Major General Vitaly Gerasimov, who both perished in the same battle outside Kharkiv on March 11.
The month prior, Moscow lost General Magomed Tushaev – the first general to fall – who was killed when his Chechen special forces column of more than 56 tanks and thousands of infantry was destroyed by a Ukrainian air strike northeast of Hostomel.
Ukraine, meanwhile claims to have killed a total of 10 generals, including two who it says died over the weekend on a strike of a command post near the city of Kherson.
The country also claims another general was critically wounded in the strike, saying it believes a total of 50 officers were inside the post at the time it was attacked.
Since the war began, Russia has lost a total of 873 tanks, 2,238 armored vehicles, 179 planes, 154 helicopters and 408 artillery systems, according to data published by the Ukrainian Land Forces this week.
The organization estimated that about 21,000 Russian fighters have been killed in the war, with US and UK estimates at 15,000.
The US has provided Ukraine with $3.2 billion in aid, including anti-aircraft weaponry.
Ukraine also claims to have destroyed hundreds of Russian tanks and thousands of other vehicles, putting large parts of Putin’s army out of action
Russia’s fallen generals
General Magomed Tushaev: Chechen special forces leader who had led ‘anti-gay purges’ killed in an ambush near Hostomel on February 26
Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky: Deputy commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District killed during a special operation by a sniper on March 4
General Magomed Tushaev (right) was blown up in the early stages of the war by Ukraine after they joined the Russian invasion
Major General Vitaly Gerasimov: First deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army who took part in operations in Syria and Crimea, killed in fighting around Kharkiv on March 8
Major General Andrei Kolesnikov: Commander of the 29th Combined Army Army killed on March 11
Major General Vitaly Gerasimov (left) was first deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army, taking part in operations in Syria and Crimea. He was killed in fighting around Kharkiv on March 8
Major-General Oleg Mityaev, died fighting near the city of Mariupol on 16 March
Lt-Gen Andrey Mordvichev, killed in the Kherson region on March 19
Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev, commander of Russia’s 49th combined army, was killed in a strike near the southern city of Kherson on March 25
Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev, commander of Russia’s 49th combined army. He was killed in a strike near the southern city of Kherson on March 25