US sought to stop Ukraine from killing Russia’s top general – NYT

The US tried to stop Ukrainian forces from launching a strike at Russian Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov, the New York Times claims

US sought to stop Ukraine from killing Russia’s top general – NYT

US sought to stop Ukraine from killing Russia’s top general – NYT

Kiev’s forces reportedly launched a strike in April in an alleged attempt to kill Russian Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov

Washington allegedly sought to dissuade Kiev from trying to kill the head of the Russian General Staff, Army General Valery Gerasimov, the New York Times (NYT) said on Saturday, in a lengthy report based on "secret battle plans, intercepts and interviews with Russian soldiers and Kremlin confidants," as well as some unnamed US officials.

According to the report, the US learned of the alleged plans by Gerasimov to visit the frontlines in late April amid the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. American officials then decided to keep the information from Ukraine out of fear that Kiev might use it to try and kill the general, potentially sparking a conflict between the US and Russia, the NYT added.

The Ukrainian military reportedly obtained the information about Gerasimov’s plans anyway, prompting US officials to contact the Ukrainians and ask them to call off an attack on the Russian general, the media outlet said. The request was put forward after consultations with the White House, the NYT said.

"We told them not to do it," a senior American official told the paper. "We were like, ‘Hey, that’s too much.’"

The Ukrainian military still launched an attack on what they believed was the general’s position. Gerasimov was not affected by the strike in any way, the NYT said, adding that the attack still allegedly made Russian top military commanders "scale back" their visits to the frontlines.

Russia has never officially confirmed Gerasimov's April visit to the frontlines. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the chief of the general staff visited the Russian troops in Ukraine in early July. The general visited several command posts, met senior commanding officers, and listened to reports on the course of the Russian military operation as well as combat support from the troops, the ministry said.

His visit came a week after Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu also traveled to the frontlines to present top state awards to servicemen involved in the conflict. The Defense Ministry did not mention any Ukrainian attacks targeting either the minister or the head of the General Staff at that time.

Back in early May, the NYT published a report on an alleged Ukrainian strike targeting Gerasimov a week before. The attack had reportedly missed its target but allegedly claimed the lives of some 200 soldiers, including at least one general, the paper reported at the time, citing an anonymous Ukrainian official. Moscow never confirmed any of these claims.