Top Russian lawmaker accuses US of direct involvement in Ukraine war

Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin on Saturday accused the United States of being directly involved in military operations against Russia in Ukraine.

Mr Volodin’s comments add to growing concerns of an imminent direct conflict between the United States and Russia following reports that the United States has shared operational intelligence with Kyiv that Ukrainian forces have used to kill Russian generals and sink the Russian Black Sea flagship.

“Washington essentially coordinates and develops military operations, thus directly participating in military actions against our country,” Volodin wrote on his Telegram channel, according to Reuters.

Western leaders have stepped forward by providing lethal aid to Ukraine for fear of further escalation of the conflict and fear of being drawn into direct war with nuclear-armed Russia. President Biden and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg have repeatedly said that NATO troops will not participate in the fighting.

Last month, Russia warned that US and NATO arms shipments to Ukraine could have “unforeseeable consequences”.

In a letter forwarded to the State Department by the Russian Embassy in Washington, the Kremlin said US and NATO shipments of “the most sensitive” weapons to Ukraine were “fueling” the conflict.

“We call on the United States and its allies to end the irresponsible militarization of Ukraine, which has unpredictable consequences for regional and international security,” the letter said.

The United States also began providing intelligence to Ukraine to help thwart the Russian onslaught.

Earlier this week, The New York Times, citing senior officials, reported that US intelligence had been used by Ukrainian forces to target and kill Russian generals. Ukraine claimed to have killed around 12 generals in combat since the start of the war.

NBC News also reported this week that U.S. intelligence was used by Ukraine to target and sink the Russian flagship Moskva last month, marking a significant strategic blow for Moscow.

President Biden called the media reports counterproductive.

“It’s irresponsible, it’s very risky, it’s dangerous when people talk too much,” CIA Director Bill Burns told the FT Weekend Festival in Washington on Saturday. “Whether it’s private leaks or public discussions of specific intelligence issues.”

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