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Ukrainians Aren’t Getting U.S. Intelligence on Russia Fast Enough, Lawmaker Says

Ukrainian service members look for and collect unexploded shells after fighting with Russian troops in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv in the morning of February 26, 2022. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP)
Ukrainian service members look for and collect unexploded shells after a fighting with Russian raiding group in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv in the morning of February 26, 2022, according to Ukrainian service personnel at the scene. (Photo by Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP)

The United States needs to do a better job of quickly sending actionable intelligence to Ukraine, according to Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse. In an interview Tuesday with NPR, Senator Sasse said that “technicalities” are getting in the way of quickly transmitting useful tactical information to Ukraine and “lawyers [are] delaying the process at way, way too many steps.”

The senator said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened that “real-time actionable intelligence is tantamount to being engaged in the war on their soil.” But Senator Sasse illustrates the futility of informing the Ukrainian military of “where a Russian tank was 10 hours ago” when it’s possible for the U.S. to be sending information immediately. He says the process is currently “way too lawyerly.”

Senator Sasse said “weakness has emboldened Putin,” as over the years he has made incursions into Ukraine without consequence from the West. He said Russia’s heightened nuclear alert is “a little more press release than reality” and that “we have to… not be intimidated by press release threats.”

Ukraine is not getting enough ammunition from the U.S., according to Senator Sasse, who stressed the importance of supporting the Ukrainian military while it and the government are still intact, as opposed to sending intelligence while they are “waging some sort of insurgency war” if the government falls.

“We need the Ukrainians to be as deadly as possible, as fast as possible,” Senator Sasse said, adding that “we have a very limited window here.”

Senator Sasse sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee and is involved in briefings and recommendations to the Senate.

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