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Ukrainian officials admit they rely on US data for precision targeting — newspaper

This practice reveals a deeper and more operationally active role for the Pentagon in the conflict, the Washington Post reported

WASHINGTON, February 10. /TAS/. Ukrainian officials admitted that Ukrainian troops were firing US-made rocket systems at targets designated by Washington or its allies, the Washington Post reported citing Ukrainian and US officials.

The newspaper wrote with reference to unnamed Ukrainian officials that Ukrainians "require coordinates provided or confirmed by the United States and its allies for the vast majority of strikes using its advanced US-provided rocket systems."

This practice reveals a deeper and more operationally active role for the Pentagon in the conflict, the report said.

"One senior Ukrainian official said Ukrainian forces almost never launch the advanced weapons without specific coordinates provided by US military personnel from a base elsewhere in Europe," the Washington Post said. "Ukrainian officials say this process should give Washington confidence about providing Kyiv with longer-range weapons."

A US official who spoke on the condition of anonymity admitted that his country was playing "key" role in targeting.

"The targeting assistance served to ensure accuracy and conserve limited stores of ammunition for maximum effectiveness," he was quoted as saying.

This official also said that "Ukraine does not seek approval from the United States on what to strike and routinely targets Russian forces on their own with other weapons." According to him, the US "provides coordinates and precise targeting information solely in an advisory role."

Ukraine has also requested the US to provide it with the Army Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS. Commenting on Washington’s concern about possible escalation, a Ukrainian official said: "You’re controlling every shot anyway, so when you say, ‘We’re afraid that you’re going to use it for some other purposes,’ well, we can’t do it even if we want to."

The paper also quoted a statement by Pentagon Spokesperson Patrick Ryder, who said: "We have long acknowledged that we share intelligence with Ukraine."

"The Ukrainians are responsible for finding targets, prioritizing them and then ultimately deciding which ones to engage. The US does not approve targets, nor are we involved in the selection or engagement of targets," he said.