Russia’s embassy in the US has demanded clarification after an unnamed American official was cited in a report stating that US forces are providing weapons to militant units in Crimea as they launch attacks on Russian troops.
The embassy said it treated the statement with “grave concern” in a social media post on Thursday, asking Washington to provide further details as to whether American weapons were being passed to Ukrainian fighters carrying out clandestine operations in Crimea.
“Unnamed US officials speak about their country’s support of terrorist activities in third countries. In this case, they talk specifically about Russia,” the embassy said on Facebook.
“If it is true… we then demand the US side to clarify whether or not Washington directly or indirectly has facilitated the SBU [Ukrainian security services] in organizing terrorist attacks against the people of Crimea.”
Published by NBC News on Monday, the report in question centered on allegations that Moscow had paid “bounties” to Taliban fighters who killed American troops in Afghanistan, a claim that first surfaced in a June New York Times story. However, buried in the article’s 12th paragraph, an anonymous official, as is customary in US media, is cited as saying that US intelligence had assumed a “bounty program” existed, as it believed it was “a proportional response to the US arming of Ukrainian units fighting Russian forces in Crimea.”