Updated June 27th, 2022 at 13:50 IST

US commandos operating in Kyiv to share intel with Ukraine forces to deter Russia: Report

Some Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) personnel have continued to secretly operate mostly in Ukraine to share findings between US and Ukraine, as per report.

Aanchal Nigam
Image: AP | Image:self

In a major revelation pertaining to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, some Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) personnel have continued to secretly operate mostly in Kyiv, and have shared intelligence between US and Ukraine. According to a New York Times report, the operatives have been involved in an intelligence-sharing operation between Washington and Kyiv despite US President Joe Biden publicly maintaining that it will not deploy American troops in the war-torn nation. 

The report also stated that apart from CIA agents, a few dozen commandos from other NATO nations including the UK, France, Canada and Lithuania, have also been working inside Ukraine, training and advising troops. Citing US officials, NYT stated that it is these foreign operatives who have been providing an “on-the-ground conduit” for weapons and other aid directed at Ukraine by Western nations to deter Russian forces.

Even before Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a ‘special’ military operation in Ukraine in late February and the Ukraine war came to a head, the US Army’s 10th Special Forces Group had been training Ukrainian commandos at a base in Western Ukraine. But, after February 24, the operatives established a coalition “planning cell” in Germany, the report stated. This so-called “cell” was aimed at coordinating the military aid being transferred to Ukrainian troops and since then, it has been augmented by a number of commandos from other NATO member nations.

The ‘cell’ now represents 20 nations operating in Ukraine

According to NYT, the clandestine outfit is now represented by at lesat 20 nations operating within Ukraine. The cell’s headquarters scatter in various parts of Ukraine but away from the frontlines. The commandos often resort to encrypted communications, the insiders revealed to the outlet. Notably, the coordination between the West’s intelligence and Ukrainian forces was also suggested when several lower-level Ukrainian commanders touted the benefits of US intelligence gleaned from satellite imagery seen on tablet computers provided by the allies. 

As per the report, the American intelligence tablets run a battlefield mapping app that the Ukrainians use for offensive or counter-offensive operations against Russian forces as the Moscow-Kyiv war entered day 124. The secret cell claimed in the NYT report, is reportedly part of a broader fixture of operational and intelligence coordination cells run by the Pentagon’s European Command outside of Ukraine. The media outlet added that thus, a US Air Force and Air National Guard team - Grey Wolf – reportedly provides support on tactics and techniques to the Ukrainian air force while also conducting its operations at Germany’s Ramstein Air Base.

The latest media report comes in the backdrop of a separate outlet stating that the United States is set to announce the purchase of medium-to-long-range surface-to-air missile defence systems for Ukraine. According to CNN report citing sources close to Washington, US President Joe Biden is ready to procure “more advanced rocket system and munitions" to help Kyiv deter "unprovoked" Russian aggression. Currently, Biden is participating in the G7  summit in Germany and Zelenskyy is already expected to call on G7 leaders to do more to support his country's fight against Russia.

Image: AP



Published June 27th, 2022 at 13:50 IST

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