Before the United States went to war with Iraq in 2003, the Russian ambassador gave specific details of the planned action to Iraqi officials, according to a description of the meeting in Iraqi documents obtained by the U.S. government.
The account included the specific number of troops, tanks, fighter planes and cruise missiles, along with other highly sensitive information.
"That they would actually pass such specific information to the Iraqis that could possibly compromise our troops and put them at risk, that is frustrating and it is disturbing," said former U.S. Army Gen. Jack Keane, now an ABC News consultant.
Two Iraqi documents say the Russians collected information from sources "inside the American central command" and that the Russian ambassador VladimirTeterenko in Baghdad provided battlefield intelligence to Saddam Hussein.
The second document details a meeting with Teterenko four days after the start of the war. It gives alarming information about the top-secret U.S./coalition war plan. It cites information:Russia obtained through its sources at the U.S. Central Command in Doha, Qatar. "The Americans," it says, will "depend on deployment along the Euphrates River ... while avoiding entering the cities."
A Pentagon study released today concludes, however, that the information didn't do Saddam Hussein any good because he never acted on it though it proved to be accurate.
In a twist of fate, Teterenko was injured when U.S. forces accidently fired on his convoy as he attempted to leave Baghad three weeks after the war started.
Representatives of the Russian government in Washington and New York did not return calls for comment on this story. Teterenko is now the Russian ambassador to Algeria.
Following is an excerpt from the first document, translated by ABC News. It is one of many released by the U.S. government. Clarifications of the text by ABC News appear in brackets.
The full documents can be found on the U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Office Web site: http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/products-docex.htm.
Secret and Urgent
The Presidency of the Republic, Mr. Secretary
Subject: The aggression against Iraq
Date: March 25th, 2003
First, the Russian ambassador informed us on March 24, 2004 of the following:
1) Regarding the "position paper" that we gave them on March 23, 2003 (subject of our letter 459 on March 23, 2003), he mentioned that the Russian FM is convinced of what was in it, and that it's time to raise the issue of the American aggression against Iraq at the Security Council. The Russian ambassador to the U.N. has therefore asked his counterparts from China, France and Germany to discuss the issues of the Iraqi position paper and prepare for a proposal to be presented to the Security Council. The Russian FM sees that the possibility of success of the proposal nonexistent because the Anglo-Saxons have the veto power. But Russia still considers Security Council discussions important to communicate the nature of the American-British action against Iraq as an aggression with unilateral use of power outside of international law, the U.N. charter and the Security Council resolutions. When the Security Council fails to adopt a resolution, the issue will be transferred to the U.N.'s General Assembly. The Russian FM proposes that Iraq coordinates with Arab countries and the nonallied movement to request a Security [Council] meeting.