Last week, after the White House denied providing direct intelligence to Ukrainians “with the intent to kill Russian generals,” Biden spoke separately with Defense Secretary Austin, CIA Director Burns and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines. He told them it was not helpful for information to be made public about what the United States shared with Ukrainian forces fighting the Russian invasion, an official said, and stressed that leaks of such information had to stop.
US officials were candid about sharing intelligence with the Ukrainians, but also said there was a line in what was shared with them. In addition to sending weapons to the battlefield, officials also provided intelligence “to help Ukrainians defend their country,” a spokesman for the National Security Council said last week.
Administration officials have previously insisted there are clear limits on the intelligence it shares with Ukraine, including a ban on providing specific targeting intelligence to senior Russian leaders by name. These limits are part of a White House effort to avoid crossing a line that Moscow might consider too escalating.
But the intelligence-sharing efforts have proven useful. The intelligence so far has contributed to successful strikes against senior Russian leaders and the Russian Navy’s flagship Moskva, sources familiar with the intelligence sharing previously told CNN.
So far, Russia has taken no known direct action against the United States or NATO in response to ongoing military and intelligence support.
US officials must have speculated as to why Moscow held back, particularly regarding cyberattacks, which the US warned before the war that Russia could use as retaliation for US aid. Nor has Russia moved to hit Kyiv during visits from a host of top US leaders, from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Nor has the country attempted to strike at arms shipments transiting through Poland, a NATO country. Only recently has Russia begun targeting railways inside Ukraine, suspected of carrying Western weapons into combat.
In addition to sharing intelligence, the United States has also provided billions in aid to Ukraine in its fight against Russia.
Biden has proposed a new $33 billion aid package for Ukraine, which he sent to Congress last month. The United States has made clear that it intends to provide long-term support to Ukraine, and the package offered last week was more than double the $13.6 billion injection of military and humanitarian aid that Congress approved last month.
This story was updated with additional details on Monday.
CNN’s Katie Bo Lillis, Jeremy Herb, Zachary Cohen, Devan Cole, Kate Sullivan and Nikki Carvajal contributed to this report.