Ukraine received some assistance from the United States when it successfully targeted Russia's prized battleship with anti-ship cruise missiles last month.
After spotting the Russian battleship in the Black Sea, Ukrainian soldiers contacted their American connections for affirmation that it was the Moskva, according to sources familiar with the situation. The United States responded that it was and supplied information on its position.
However, it is unclear whether the U.S. was aware that Ukraine would hit the ship, and the U.S. was not involved in the process, according to the sources.
"We did not provide Ukraine with specific targeting details for the Moskva," Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby reported.
"We were not involved in the Ukrainians' course of action to target the ship or in the procedure they conducted. We had no previous knowledge of Ukraine's intention to attack the ship. The Ukrainians have their own intelligence operations to monitor and target warships of Russia, as they did in this case," Kirby said.
On April 14, the naval vessel capsized after being hit by two Ukrainian cruise missiles, handing a major blow to the Russian forces.
The incident demonstrates the Biden administration's growingly forward-leaning stance when it comes to communicating intelligence with Ukraine, as part of a larger policy shift toward assisting Ukraine in decisively defeating Russia on the battleground while significantly weakening its military.
However, it casts doubts about the United States and Russia's red lines when it comes to war assistance to Ukraine.
The United States has been providing the Ukrainian military with intelligence on Russian forces' activity within Ukraine for months, including intercepted communications concerning Russian military preparations.
It also gives Ukraine marine monitoring data so that it can better comprehend the threat presented by Russian naval vessels in the Black Sea, many of which are launching missiles toward Ukrainian shores.
Various sources informed the media that there are definite limits to what the U.S. will divulge. For instance, the United States has so far refused to give Ukraine intelligence regarding potential targets within Russia.
While the information the U.S. shares concerning Russian army operations inside Ukraine can include specifics such as vehicles and types of soldiers at a given place, officials have stated that the U.S. has not provided Ukraine with knowledge about the presence of specific Russian military leaders.
Kirby told reporters on Thursday that they do not share intelligence on the location of top military officials on the battleground, and they do not engage in the Ukrainian army's attacking decisions.
He added that Ukraine compares information the U.S. and other allies provide, with intelligence gathered on the front by themselves, and then they make their own decisions and execute their own moves.