US denies providing Ukraine with information on targeting sunken Russian Moskva ship

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The Pentagon is pushing back on reports that US intelligence helped Ukraine target and sink the Russian warship Moskva in the Black Sea in mid-April.

In a statement late Thursday, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said “the Ukrainians have their own intelligence capabilities to track and target Russian Navy ships, as they did in this case.” .

“We did not provide Ukraine with specific information about the targeting of the Moskva,” Kirby added, “we were not involved in the Ukrainians’ decision to strike the ship or in the operation that they led”.

The Russian missile cruiser Moskva, flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, is seen anchored in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, September 11, 2008.
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The Russian missile cruiser Moskva, flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, is seen anchored in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, September 11, 2008.
(AP Photo, File)

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A senior US defense official also said that “we are providing a range of intelligence to help Ukrainians understand the threat posed by Russian ships in the Black Sea and to help them prepare to defend against possible aggression in sea”.

“Many of the missiles fired at Ukraine come from Russian ships in the Black Sea, and these ships could be used to support an assault on cities like Odessa,” the official continued.

The Russian Navy's Moskva missile cruiser sails through the Bosphorus, en route to the Mediterranean Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey, in June 2021.

The Russian Navy’s Moskva missile cruiser sails through the Bosphorus, en route to the Mediterranean Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey, in June 2021.
(REUTERS/Yoruk Isik)

A US official told Fox News in mid-April that the United States estimated the Moskva had been hit by two Ukrainian missiles before it sank.

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The United States believes the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Navy was about 60 nautical miles south of Odessa at the time of the explosion.

Moscow claimed the ship sank after a fire on board caused an explosion.

Fox News’ Mark Meredith contributed to this report.

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