Russian far-right armed guerrillas, believed to be anti-President Putin, launched a cross-border attack in Belgorod, Russia’s border with Ukraine. The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed to repel the invasion and showed images of destroyed US-made Humvees and other equipment. . U.S. officials said on the 24th that the Biden administration is investigating the claim that equipment and ammunition originally aided by the U.S. to Ukraine were used in this matter.
“We are looking into reports that U.S. equipment and vehicles may have been involved,” White House National Security Council strategic communications coordinator John Kirby told reporters on ABC News.
US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said on the 24th that while US policy clearly opposes the use of weapons provided to Ukraine outside Ukraine, there is “not yet” the specific circumstances surrounding the recent attack on Russian territory. “We haven’t reached any conclusions yet, and I don’t want to prejudge the outcome or when we’re going to reach that outcome,” he said.
Still, Miller’s comments represented a marked change from earlier in the week. At the time, Biden administration officials were skeptical of reports circulating online that U.S.-aided weapons were involved in the fighting. Miller had noted the day before that they had seen reports and “blurred photos” on social media and “a lot of claims from some sort of armchair intelligence analysts that we have doubts about the accuracy of.”
However, on the 24th, Miller said that “since then, there have obviously been media reports with additional photos, and we are investigating those reports.” Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder also confirmed the day before that Washington had not approved any third-party equipment transfer agreements to paramilitary groups other than the Ukrainian military, nor had Kiev requested any such transfers.
While Mueller declined to say what consequences Ukrainian officials might face if the U.S. assessed the claim to be accurate, sources within the U.S. administration said a decision would likely be made at the highest levels.
Tags: Guerrillas stole #U.S.aided Ukrainian weapons fight Russia borderAlarming White House investigate RussoUkrainian War Global