Striving to help Ukraine seize the breakaway republics in the eastern Donbas region, Washington has reportedly lifted some restrictions on sharing intelligence with Kyiv, which is faced with a renewed Russian military assault in the east and south.
The US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines has reportedly told US Congress about the expanded intel-sharing aimed at helping Kyiv after the chief Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Mike Turner, who has long criticized the Biden administration’s backing of Ukraine as insufficiently forceful, demanded in a classified letter that the US removes any restrictions on sharing intelligence.
GOP members of the Senate Intelligence Committee had previously urged the NI director to proactively share intel with Kyiv to help them protect, defend, and retake any invaded Ukraine’s sovereign territory, including the breakaway Lugansk and Donetsk republics of Donbas and the Crimea peninsula.
Claiming that it would somehow prevent an actual direct conflict between the US and Russia, Turner has also demanded for more weapons to be sent to Kyiv, but Moscow has warned both Washington and Europe that arming Ukraine amounts to a proxy war against Russia.
The US has intensified its sharing of timely intelligence with Kyiv, including about Russian-held areas before the current invasion, but intelligence agencies have adjusted intelligence-sharing guidelines ss the conflict has evolved so that operators have the necessary guidance to help Ukraine defend itself.
Although the directive still limits information regarding military forces and potential targets across the border in Russia or Belarus, the US reportedly lifted last week some of its geographic limits on transferring actionable information used in making split-second decisions on the battlefield.
Sharing such information was previously held back by Washington because it steps over the line to making the US participate in the war, as House Armed Services Committee’s chair, Democratic Congressman Adam Smith, said last month.
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