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US supplies weapons, performs gunner's function in Ukraine — Russian diplomat

According to Maria Zakharova, Washington is directly involved in the military operations in Ukraine

MOSCOW, August 2. /TASS/. The US arms deliveries to Ukraine are accompanied by instruction on weapon operation and the gunner's function, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday.

The Russian diplomat thus commented on an interview of Vadim Skibitsky, a representative of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Department, with the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"The delivery of armaments is accompanied not only by instruction on weapon operation, in this case they perform the function of gunners in its pure form," the diplomat said.

As the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman pointed out, Skibitsky stated that Britain and the United States had provided Ukraine with all the equipment and information for military intelligence, as well as all types of situational data in real time.

"When asked how HIMARS [multiple launch rocket systems] could strike Russian sites so accurately, Skibitsky said: "In this case, in particular, we use information in real time.’ This means the data of Western intelligence services," Zakharova said.

This proves that Washington is directly involved in the combat operations in Ukraine, the Russian diplomat stressed.

"As he [Skibitsky] put it, US officials do not provide direct information on targeting in order not to comprise the arguments that they are not directly participating in the war. However, before a missile launch, consultations were held between intelligence officers of the United States and Ukraine that enabled Washington to stop any potential attacks, if it was dissatisfied with the intended target," Zakharova said.

"No other proof of the US direct involvement in the combat operations on Ukrainian territory is required," the Russian diplomat stressed.

In this case, it cannot even be said that the Ukrainian troops are the operators of these weapons since they are more likely assistant operators, Zakharova said.

"These people who give information on targets in real time and use satellite data in this process and all this is done along intelligence lines in the context of the use of their weapons - this points to the direct involvement of the United States of America. Now already Kiev’s representatives directly talk about their military involvement not only through arms deliveries but also through the control of the personnel in the Ukrainian armed forces, direct instructions and, what’s more, the selection, i.e. the choice of targets," the Russian diplomat said.