Ukraine unleash Brit AS-90 guns on Russian forces
Ukraine’s missile stocks could be decimated in a matter of weeks, leaked US documents have revealed. The country could run out of missiles for Soviet-era S-300 and Buk air defence systems by next month.
The documents say the air defences protecting the frontline could “be completely reduced” by May 23.
It comes as the US Justice Department launched an investigation into the possible release of Pentagon documents that were posted on several social media sites and appear to detail US and NATO aid to Ukraine, but may have been altered or used as part of a misinformation campaign.
The documents posted on sites such as Twitter are labeled secret and resemble routine updates that the US military’s Joint Staff would produce daily but not distribute publicly. They are dated ranging from February 23 to March 1, and provide what appears to detail on the progress of weapons and equipment going into Ukraine with more precise timelines and amounts than the U.S. generally provides publicly.
They are not war plans and provide no details on any planned Ukraine offensive.
And some inaccuracies — including estimates of Russian troops deaths that are significantly lower than numbers publicly stated by US officials — have led some to question the documents’ authenticity.
In a statement Friday, Sabrina Singh, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said the Defence Department “made a formal referral” of the matter to the Justice Department for investigation.
And the Justice Department, in a separate statement Friday, said, “We have been in communication with the Department of Defence related to this matter and have begun an investigation.”
The investigation comes as questions continued to swirl about the origination and the validity of the documents, and as reports suggest more have begun to appear on social media sites.
Andriy Yusov, a spokesman for Ukraine’s military intelligence directorate, said on Ukrainian TV: “It is very important to remember that in recent decades, the Russian special services’ most successful operations have been taking place in Photoshop.
“From a preliminary analysis of these materials, we see false, distorted figures on losses on both sides, with part of the information collected from open sources.”
Separately, however, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office released a statement on Friday about a meeting he had with his senior military staff, and it noted that “the participants of the meeting focused on measures to prevent the leakage of information regarding the plans of the defence forces of Ukraine.”
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If the published documents are authentic to any degree, however, the leak of classified data is troubling and raises questions about what other information about the Ukraine war — or any coming offensive — could be distributed.
US officials on Friday provided no clarity on the origin of the documents, their authenticity, or who actually was the first to post them online.
The New York Times was the first to report on the documents.
Later on Friday, The Times reported that more documents involving Ukraine as well as other sensitive national security topics such as China and the Middle East had begun appearing on social media.
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