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Critical Alert: Ukraine’s Air Defenses on the Verge of Missile Depletion

Rewritten paragraph:

One of the documents, dated February 23 and labeled as “Confidential,” provides extensive details on why Ukraine’s stockpile of Soviet-era S-300 air defense weapons will be depleted by May 2. It is unclear if there has been a change in usage rates since then.

The authenticity of the Pentagon documents has not been independently verified. On Sunday, the Pentagon released a statement stating that they were investigating the accuracy of photographs that “seem to contain sensitive and highly classified material.”

On April 15, The New York Times reported that the air defenses protecting the front could be “completely diminished” by May 23. Additionally, problems with Ukraine’s Buk air defense systems, along with the S-300s, were expected to arise by mid-April, jeopardizing the security of important Russian aircraft locations.

According to senior military officials cited by The Times, the increased opportunity for Russian jets and bombers to attack Ukrainian forces posed a significant problem for Kyiv.

While Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Col. Yuri Ihnat declined to comment on the specific documents, he informed The Wall Street Journal that Ukraine was facing difficulties in sourcing ammunition for their crucial S-300 systems, which are of Soviet design.

Col. Ihnat warned that the consequences for Ukraine would be “extremely dire” if they were to lose air superiority and urged their Western allies not to delay assistance but to expedite it.

Several U.S. authorities speculate that the leak of the extensive trove of sensitive DoD information may have originated from a domestic source. Former senior Pentagon officer Michael Mulroy informed Reuters, “The current focus is on this being an American leak since many of the records were only in the possession of the United States.”

The broad range of topics covered in the documents, including the conflict in Ukraine, China, the Middle East, and Africa, has led officials to consider the possibility that an American, rather than an ally, may have leaked them.

U.S. officials have stated that the investigation is still in its early stages and have not ruled out the possibility that pro-Russian groups were responsible for the leak. WikiLeaks has released approximately 700,000 documents, videos, and diplomatic cables.

Requests for comments from the Russian embassy in Washington and the Kremlin have been ignored.

After learning about the leak, Reuters investigators examined over fifty “Confidential” and “Top Secret” documents that surfaced on various social media platforms such as Discord and 4Chan at the beginning of this month. Some records had been publicly accessible for weeks before The New York Times article on their existence was published on Friday.

Reuters has not independently verified the accuracy of the documents. Some reported casualty figures on the Ukrainian front appeared to be exaggerated to conceal Soviet losses.

Despite containing sensitive information, the reason why at least one document is labeled as “unclassified” remains a mystery. The “NOFORN” stamp on a document indicates that it cannot be transferred to a foreign national.

On Sunday, Reuters reported that two U.S. officials had not ruled out the possibility that the documents might have been tampered with to mislead investigators regarding their origin or to spread false information that could undermine U.S. security interests.

The White House directed reporters to the Defense Department for further inquiries. The Pentagon has requested the Department of Justice to initiate a criminal investigation.

According to reports, Ukrainian President and top security officials convened on Friday to discuss measures to prevent leaks of such sensitive information that could greatly benefit Russia’s armed forces.

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