Russia-Ukraine live updates: US providing coordinates for Ukrainian strikes

A Ukrainian official said the U.S. provides coordinates for most strikes.

Almost a year after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion into neighboring Ukraine, the two countries are engaged in a struggle for control of areas throughout eastern and southern Ukraine.Putin’s forces pulled out of key positions in November, retreating from Kherson as Ukrainian troops led a counteroffensive targeting the southern port city. Russian drones have continued bombarding civilian targets throughout Ukraine, knocking out critical power infrastructure as winter sets in.

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Latest headlines:

  • US surveillance data ‘crucial’: Ukrainian commander
  • US providing coordinates for Ukraine’s strikes with HIMARS, Ukrainian official says
  • Russian missiles strike Ukraine’s power grid in wave of attacks
  • Ukraine braces for Russian Donbas offensive
  • France’s Macron presents Zelenskyy with Legion of Honor

US surveillance data ‘crucial’: Ukrainian commander

Ukrainian Lieutenant General Serhiy Nayev told ABC News in an interview that the U.S. provides “surveillance data,” allowing the Ukrainian Armed Forces to more accurately pinpoint Russian targets within Ukraine’s borders.”This help is crucial for us,” he said.

Nayev said he was in “constant contact” with American generals stationed in other parts of Europe. An exchange of data between the Ukrainians and Americans helped the Ukrainian military to pinpoint targets using US-supplied HIMARS rocket systems.

“This work goes perfectly in real time,” he said.

-ABC News’ Tom Soufi Burridge, Dragana Jovanovic and Ale Pavone

Biden to visit Poland on eve of first anniversary of invasion of Ukraine

President Joe Biden will visit Poland on Feb. 20, on the eve of the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.Biden will meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda as well as the leaders of the Bucharest Nine, a group of our eastern flank NATO allies, and he’ll deliver remarks to mark the one-year anniversary, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday.

“President Biden will deliver remarks ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, addressing how the United States has rallied the world, to support the people of Ukraine, as they defend their freedom and democracy, and how we will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes,” Jean-Pierre said.

-ABC News’ Ben Gittleson

Russian missile comes within 22 miles of Romanian border with Ukraine

Romania, a member of NATO, said Friday a Russian missile had come within 22 miles of its border but that it did not cross into the country’s territory, countering a claim made by the Ukrainian military.”The Romanian Air Forces’ air surveillance system detected on Friday, February 10th, an aerial target launched by a Russian Federation’s ship, navigating in the Black Sea, nearby the Crimean Peninsula. The target is most likely a cruise missile, which flew over the air space of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova and reentered the Ukrainian air space without ever infringing Romania’s air space,” Romanian Defense Minister Angel Tîlvăr said in a statement Friday.

Ukrainian officials had said earlier Friday that two Russian missiles crossed into the airspace of Moldova and Romania before entering Ukraine and being directed at targets in the country.

“Several Russian missiles passed through the airspace of Moldova and Romania. These missiles are a challenge to NATO and collective security. This is terror that can and must be stopped,” Zelenskyy said Friday.

-ABC News’ Will Gretsky

US providing coordinates for Ukraine’s strikes with HIMARS, Ukrainian official says

A Ukrainian official has confirmed to ABC News that the United States provides coordinates to Ukraine for most strikes carried out in Russian-occupied areas of the country, using the U.S.-supplied HIMARS rocket launchers.The Washington Post was first to report the news on Thursday, stating in an article: “Ukrainian officials said they require coordinates provided or confirmed by the United States and its allies for the vast majority of strikes using its advanced U.S.-provided rocket systems, a previously undisclosed practice that reveals a deeper and more operationally active role for the Pentagon in the war.”

The Ukrainian official who spoke with ABC News on Friday confirmed that Ukraine’s ability to strike targets with high precision has been thanks to support from the U.S. The official said Ukrainians wanted to get the maximum of out of every HIMARS.

“We get help for maximum effectiveness,” the official added.

And more broadly, the official said the cooperation between Ukraine and the U.S. in the war “is very close.”

Meanwhile, a senior Ukrainian official told ABC News on Friday that The Washington Post’s article “overestimates” the “role of the U.S. in the shooting process” of the HIMARS.

The senior official did not deny that the U.S. is involved in helping the Ukrainian military pinpoint targets with the U.S.-supplied HIMARS, but did not provide further detail.

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