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Retired US General: Leaked intelligence 'unlikely' to impact Ukraine's planned counteroffensive

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 13, 2023 7:14 PM 1 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

The recent U.S. intelligence leaks are unlikely to have any impact on Ukraine's planned counteroffensive, Retired General Ben Hodges said in an interview with Voice of America on April 13.

The leak of U.S. military and intelligence documents was first spotted on the online media platform Discord. Following the leak, the Pentagon announced that it had launched an investigation into the source.

The information in the leaked documents covers a range of topics, including a prediction that the war in Ukraine will continue "well beyond" 2023.

According to one leaked document, Ukraine's air defense systems risk being depleted by mid-April and early May if they are not replenished, potentially increasing the risk of Russian airstrikes.

Another document dated early February raises doubts about the planned Ukrainian counteroffensive, warning of significant shortfalls in force generation and sustainment. The document also suggests that Ukraine's future counteroffensive may only result in modest territorial gains.

Hodges told Voice of America that he had "always assumed" Ukrainian forces did not possess adequate ammunition due to the amount used daily on the frontline.

Although he was uncertain about the authenticity of the documents leaked from intelligence sources, he mentioned that if they were indeed accurate, the U.S. should consider not only providing additional ammunition "but also reconsider providing F-16s or other aircraft that could help."

In early February, Hodges told Deutsche Welle in an interview that supplying Ukraine with modern fighting jets could help Ukraine achieve victory much sooner.

Ukrainian officials originally dismissed the trove of documents in the intelligence leak as "fake," but U.S. officials have confirmed to both the New York Times and CNN that the documents are likely legitimate, although some of them appear to have been altered.

Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov spoke about the intelligence leak during a visit to Spain on April 12, acknowledging that there is a "mix" of true and false information contained in them, with the former already being outdated.

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