MOSCOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti) - Kiev asked US and NATO to provide them with electronic warfare equipment, capable to counter anti-aircraft systems, The Daily Beast reported.
“I was told in June by the Ukrainians that one of their top five priorities that they had conveyed to the United States and NATO that month was to get help in electronic warfare,” The Daily Beast cited a former strategy adviser to Secretary of Defense Philip Karber.
A former president of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili also said that during one of his meetings with Ukraine’s national security adviser Andriy Parubiy, they discussed the Ukrainian request.
“He told me they desperately needed electronic warfare capabilities from the Americans,” Saakashvili told The Daily Beast.
However, the Pentagon itself refused to disclose what type of military support Ukraine asked to provide them with.
“The Ukrainian government has requested support, but we’re not going to detail the types of support they have requested,” a Pentagon spokesman Steve Warren told The Daily Beast.
According to The Daily Beast, since April, the United States already provided Ukraine with encrypted communications gear, mine-detection vehicles, night-vision equipment, uniforms, spare tires, concertina wires, flashlights, binoculars, and sleeping bags.
In mid-April, Kiev launched a special military operation against independence supporters in eastern Ukraine. Hundreds of people, including civilians and journalists on their professional duty have died in the region over the past months.
The conflict intensified after a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 heading from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed on July 17 near the city of Donetsk in Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.
Kiev placed blame on independence supporters in eastern Ukraine for shooting down Malaysia Airlines plane.
Local militia leaders ensure they do not have the means capable of bringing down an aircraft flying at 32,000 feet.
Earlier this week, one of the US intelligence officials told Associated Press that Washington is not sure who downed the Malaysia Airlines aircraft.
"We don’t know a name, we don’t know a rank and we’re not even 100 percent sure of a nationality," one of the officials said on Tuesday, as quoted by the Associated Press.
At the same time, Russia’s Defense Ministry said that at the time of the crash, the Ukrainian military had at least 27 Buk surface-to-air systems capable of hitting targets at the attitude of up to 82,000 feet.
United Nations, Russia, and heads of several countries stressed an importance of a transparent international investigation into the accident.
At the moment, Malaysia Boeing 777 black boxes are being studied by Air Accidents Investigation Branch experts in Farnborough, United Kingdom.
After the deciphering of the black boxes that may take up to two days, the Dutch-led international team of 24 specialists, including Russian and Ukrainian analysts, will carry an investigation into the circumstances of the catastrophe.