The speaker of Russia’s State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, on Saturday accused the U.S. of being directly involved in military operations against Russia in Ukraine.
Mr. Volodin’s comments add to growing concern of a looming direct conflict between the U.S. and Russia following reports that the U.S. shared operational intelligence with Kyiv that Ukrainian forces used to kill Russian generals and sink Russia’s Black Sea flagship.
“Washington is essentially coordinating and developing military operations, thereby directly participating in military actions against our country,” Mr. Volodin wrote on his Telegram channel, according to Reuters.
Western leaders have walked a fine line in providing lethal aid to Ukraine over concern for further escalating the conflict and fear of being drawn into direct war with nuclear-armed Russia. President Biden and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg have repeatedly said the NATO troops would not get involved in the fighting.
Last month, Russia warned that U.S. and NATO weapons shipments to Ukraine could have “unpredictable consequences.”
In a letter forwarded to the State Department by the Russian Embassy in Washington, the Kremlin said the U.S. and NATO shipments of “most sensitive” weapons to Ukraine were “adding fuel” to the conflict.
“We call on the United States and its allies to stop the irresponsible militarization of Ukraine, which implies unpredictable consequences for regional and international security,” the letter said.
The U.S. has also begun providing intelligence to Ukraine to help thwart Russia’s assault.
Earlier this week, the New York Times citing senior officials, reported that U.S. intelligence has been used by Ukrainian forces to target and kill Russian generals. Ukraine has claimed to have killed approximately 12 generals in battle since the start of the war.
NBC News also reported this week that U.S. intelligence was used by Ukraine to target and sink Russia’s flagship, the Moskva, last month — marking a significant strategic blow to Moscow.
President Biden called the media reports counterproductive.
“It is irresponsible, it’s very risky, it’s dangerous when people talk too much,” CIA Director Bill Burns said Saturday at the FT Weekend Festival in Washington. “Whether it’s leaking in private or talking in public about specific intelligence issues.”