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Generals targeted

Ukrainian officials said they have killed some 12 generals on the frontlines, a number that has bamboozled military analysts.

Statesman News Service |

Military analysts in the United States of America are astonished that Ukrainians have targeted and killed many Russian generals in the war that began on 24 February. The killings are reported to have taken place on the basis of intelligence furnished by the United States about Russian units. Ukrainian officials said they have killed some 12 generals on the frontlines, a number that has bamboozled military analysts. The data on targeting is part of a classified effort by the Biden administration to provide what they call “real-time battlefield intelligence” to Ukraine. 

The data that has been furnished also includes anticipated Russian troop movements. This has been garnered from recent American assessments of Moscow’s secret battle plans for the conflict in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. Officials have declined to specify how many generals had been killed as a result of US assistance. America has focused on providing the location and other details about the Russian military’s mobile headquarters, which relocate frequently. 

As it turns out, Ukrainian officials have combined that geographic information with their own intelligence data. This includes intercepted communications that alert the Ukrainian military to the presence of senior Russian officials, indeed to conduct artillery strikes and other attacks that have killed the generals. The sharing of information is part of a stepped-up flow in US assistance that includes heavy weapons and billions of dollars in aid, demonstrating how quickly the initial American restraints have shifted as the war enters a new stage that could play out over months. 

US intelligence support to the Ukrainians has had a decisive effect on the battlefield, confirming targets mentioned by the Ukrainian military and identifying new ones. The flow of “actionable intelligence” on the movement of Russian troops has few precedents. Having failed to advance on Kiev, the capital, in the initial phase of the war, Vladimir Putin’s Russia has tried to regroup, with a more “concentrated push” in eastern Ukraine. 

As it turns out, the Biden administration has tried to keep much of the battlefield intelligence secret, out of fear that it will be seen as an escalation and provoke Mr Putin into a wider war. US officials have not disclosed how they garnered data on Russian troop headquarters for fear of endangering their methods of data collection. Throughout the war, however, US intelligence has used a variety of sources, including classified and commercial satellites, to trace Russian troop movements. US Defence secretary Lloyd Austin has let it be known that “we want to see Russia weakened to the degree it cannot do the kind of things that it has done in Ukraine”. Much of the battlefield intelligence must of necessity be under wraps, if the response of the Pentagon spokesman, John F. Kirby, is any indication ~ “We will not speak of the details of that information.” But the astonishing data has been disclosed already.