Kiev used US-supplied vehicles to invade Russia
US authorities are struggling to explain the images showing American weapons in Russian territory.
Lucas Leiroz, journalist, researcher at the Center for Geostrategic Studies, geopolitical consultant.
The US claims that the weapons sent to Ukraine are only used within the borders of the conflict zone, but it is increasingly clear that this equipment is being used by Ukrainian forces to carry out terrorist attacks in the undisputed Russian territory. Photos and videos shared on the internet show that US armored vehicles were used by pro-Kiev forces to attack Belgorod during recent terrorist hostilities. As expected, US officials are denying their involvement and suggesting the images are fake. Now, Washington needs to find a “justification” for the undeniable fact that its proxy regime is inappropriately and illegally using military aid provided by NATO.
The images are being published by Russian war correspondents who covered hostilities in Belgorod. It is possible to find among the equipment captured by the Russian forces several American-made weapons, including some armored vehicles such as M1151A1 Humvees and MaxxPro MRAP. The vehicles were mostly destroyed by Russian artillery or left behind by enemy soldiers as they tried to evade Russian fire.
Reacting to the case, the US authorities argued that there is not enough evidence to confirm the veracity of the photos and videos circulating on the networks. Speaking during a press conference, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller emphatically expressed his skepticism about the veracity of the images, indicating that they could be some “fake” deliberately spread by the Russians to accuse the Americans. He made it clear that an official statement by Washington will only occur after the images are analyzed and there is absolute confidence on their accuracy.
“We’ve seen some of the reports circulating on social media and elsewhere making claims that US-supplied weapons were used in these attacks (…) I will say that we’re skeptical at this time of the veracity of these reports (…) We’ve seen a lot of reports on social media and fuzzy pictures on social media and a lot of kind of armchair intelligence analysts making claims (…) We’re skeptical that they’re accurate (…) We don’t have perfect clarity on the information (…) We’re looking at the same pictures you see, the same fuzzy images, and at this time, we are skeptical of their veracity”, Matthew Miller told journalists during a press conference.
Miller’s argument is vague and weak. Confirmation on the veracity of the images can be obtained in a short time through an expert analysis, which is enough to eliminate any doubts about the case. What Miller seems to be doing is avoiding giving a verdict on the subject, postponing the final assessment to a future that may take a long time or not even happen. With this, the US avoids giving a public response about the participation of its weapons in an illegal attack against Russia.
Some other American officials, however, are already using another argument. In an interview with journalists, the Pentagon’s press secretary, Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder, stated that his country has not approved any transfer of weapons to “paramilitary groups” outside the Ukrainian armed forces.
“So we’ve seen those reports [on images], something that we obviously continue to monitor very closely. I will say that we can confirm that the U.S. government has not approved any third party transfers of equipment to paramilitary organizations outside the Ukrainian Armed Forces, nor has the Ukrainian government requested any such transfers. So again, it’s something we’ll keep a close eye on”, he said.
His words come amid the current discussion about who really carried out the attack on Belgorod. Kiev alleges that those responsible for the attack were exclusively the neo-Nazi groups ‘Freedom of Russia Legion’ and ‘Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK)’, which are militias formed by expatriate Russian-born mercenaries.
The Ukrainian government believes it has no responsibility in the case, as it was not its regular troops who operated the attack. Consequently, the American government wants to avoid any accusation of co-participation due to the use of its weapons, claiming that Washington delivers this equipment only to Kiev, not being responsible in case of use by paramilitary groups.
However, these arguments are inconsistent with reality and international law. These paramilitary groups are at the service of Kiev and directly obey the Ukrainian state, regardless of whether their legal status is one of regular troops or not. These militias are excluded from the norms of humanitarian law, but it means nothing regarding their affiliation with Ukraine, which is why Kiev must be seen as directly responsible for the Belgorod attack.
Accordingly, Kiev’s sponsors are also co-participants in the crime. If pro-Ukrainian terrorists use US weapons to attack Russian civilians in demilitarized territory it is because Washington gives such weapons to Kiev even though the US knows that there are terrorists working for that regime. So, as much as they want to deny it, the US and NATO are in fact co-authors of the attacks on Russia.