There is some discussion from fringe Twitter users that Ukraine's artillery strike on a Russian forward command post that killed Russian senior leadership was a war crime, based on an entirely incorrect reading of international warfare laws concerning "treacherous killing", a situation which covers assassination through deception or ruse and doesn't apply here. After that was pointed out, the user in question pivoted to "The location of this forward command post was shared with Ukraine by the USA, which is an act of war or a war crime in certain circumstances", circumstances which were not expanded upon. However, I'm skeptical of this claim as well.

Is it an act of war or a war crime if, during a war between country A and country B, country C with friendly relations with country A but not officially involved in the war shares intelligence about country B with country A?

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    The fact that such user does not even know if it is an act of war or a war crime (which are different things) and how unspecific the "circumstances" are should tell you that it is better to stop wasting your time with that user.
    – SJuan76
    Commented May 6, 2022 at 15:56

1 Answer 1


Sharing intelligence is an act of war inconsistent with neutrality

However, so is supplying arms to a belligerent.

A neutral State must never assist a party to the armed conflict, in particular it must not supply warships, ammunition or other war materials directly or indirectly to a belligerent power, but otherwise its trade with the belligerent States remains unaffected.

However, it’s not a war crime.

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