Paramilitaries of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) first started training Ukrainian forces on the battlefields of the Donbas war against Russian-supported separatists in 2014 and they were pulled out last month by the Biden administration, according to a piece done Wednesday by Yahoo! News that indicates former US officials.
Eight years ago, the CIA first sent paramilitaries into eastern Ukraine when the war over Russia’s invasion/annexation of Crimea began in 2014 that was ignited by a coup in Kyiv that was supported by the US and when the Dobas separatists declared independence from the post-coup government.
These CIA paramilitaries, among other things, taught Ukrainian forces how to use US Javelin anti-tank missiles, how to use snipers to the best advantages, how to avoid being spotted on the battlefield using covert communications, etc..
CIA officials quickly realized that the Russians and the separatists were an adversary whose skills were superior to the Islamic groups that the US fought against in the post-911 wars.
“We learned a lot real quick,” a former senior intelligence official said, talking about Russian capabilities, including how the Russians employed laser-blinding techniques. “That s*** wouldn’t happen with the Taliban.”
Similar US-backed training programs took place in western Ukraine. Back in January, Yahoo! News did a piece on how the CIA was running a training program for Ukrainian forces where a former CIA official said that program was involved in training “an insurgency” for Ukrainians on how to “kill Russians.”
This CIA paramilitary training in Ukraine was part of President Barack Obama‘s proxy war against Russia on the Russian border of Ukraine. If you remember, the Pentagon admitted it lost $7 billion and had no idea where it went. Politico wrote a piece, trying to write it off as a series of clumsy expenditures of things the Pentagon didn’t really need to purchase. CNN dutifully wrote it off as $7 billion of accounting errors. I personally believe that $7 billion went to fight the proxy wars in Ukraine against Russia.
The former officials told the outlet that during the first year of the Trump administration, National Security Officials went over the program, which had begun under the Obama administration.
The CIA operatives involved were ordered to advise and train Ukrainian forces but to not engage in any combat. Officials from the Trump administration felt the mission statements of the program were too wide-reaching and too vague.
A former official said questions asked about the program included things like “How far can you go with existing covert action authorities? If, God forbid, they’ve shot some Russians, is that a problem? Do you need special authorities for that?”
The former official suggested that the Trump administration considered what Russia’s redlines could be and measured that US support for Ukrainian forces fell within historically acceptable bounds. “There was a school of thought that the Russians spoke the good old language of proxy war,” the official said.
Though there were concerns, the secret program ran for years until last month. Once the coming Russian invasion of Ukraine became an obvious thing, the Biden administration interrupted the president’s Matlock reruns hour and let him know they were pulling all CIA people out of Ukraine, with a former official noting that the administration was “terrified of even clandestine folks being on the frontline.”
Reports have been coming out showing that Ukrainian forces are doing a lot more than expected resisting the Russian invasion, probably thanks to the CIA paramilitary training and the money and equipment the US provided them over the years. However, there are questions as to whether that CIA training could have provoked the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Rich is a conservative, syndicated opinion writer and owner of MAGA-Chat.com. He writes about politics, culture, liberty, and faith.
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