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CIA-trained Ukrainian paramilitaries may take central role if Russia invades

F-22Raptor

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The CIA is overseeing a secret intensive training program in the U.S. for elite Ukrainian special operations forces and other intelligence personnel, according to five former intelligence and national security officials familiar with the initiative. The program, which started in 2015, is based at an undisclosed facility in the Southern U.S., according to some of those officials.

The CIA-trained forces could soon play a critical role on Ukraine’s eastern border, where Russian troops have massed in what many fear is preparation for an invasion. The U.S. and Russia started security talks earlier this week in Geneva but have failed thus far to reach any concrete agreement.

While the covert program, run by paramilitaries working for the CIA’s Ground Branch — now officially known as Ground Department — was established by the Obama administration after Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014, and expanded under the Trump administration, the Biden administration has further augmented it, said a former senior intelligence official in touch with colleagues in government.

By 2015, as part of this expanded anti-Russia effort, CIA Ground Branch paramilitaries also started traveling to the front in eastern Ukraine to advise their counterparts there, according to a half-dozen former officials.

The multiweek, U.S.-based CIA program has included training in firearms, camouflage techniques, land navigation, tactics like “cover and move,” intelligence and other areas, according to former officials.

How to characterize the program is a matter of dispute. The U.S. over three presidents has debated whether to provide military assistance to Ukraine, and how much, with discussions often focusing on whether that help is offensive or defensive in character.

U.S. officials deny that the CIA training program is, or was ever, offensively oriented. “The purpose of the training, and the training that was delivered, was to assist in the collection of intelligence,” said a current senior intelligence official.

But just what intelligence support entails, in the paramilitary context, can be ambiguous. And how this training will be applied by the Ukrainians may change rapidly with facts on the ground.


The program has involved “very specific training on skills that would enhance” the Ukrainians’ “ability to push back against the Russians,” said the former senior intelligence official.

The training, which has included “tactical stuff,” is “going to start looking pretty offensive if Russians invade Ukraine,” said the former official.

One person familiar with the program put it more bluntly. “The United States is training an insurgency,” said a former CIA official, adding that the program has taught the Ukrainians how “to kill Russians.”

The program, which does not appear to have ever been formally aimed at preparing for an insurgency, did include training that could be used for that purpose. Another former agency official described technical aspects of the program, like showing Ukrainians how to maintain secure communications behind enemy lines or in a “hostile intelligence environment” as potential “stay-behind force training.”

The current senior intelligence official strongly denied that the program was designed in any way “to assist in an insurgency.”

“Suggestions that we have trained an armed insurgency in Ukraine are simply false,” said Tammy Thorp, a CIA spokesperson.

Going back decades, the CIA has provided limited training to Ukrainian intelligence units to try and shore up an independent Kyiv and prevent Russian subversion, but cooperation “ramped up” after the Crimea invasion, said a former CIA executive.


The CIA paramilitaries in Ukraine have “a very small footprint,” said the former agency executive, and are helping train Ukrainian forces in “potential critical nodes the Russians may focus on” if Moscow seeks to push farther into the country.

Though the agency’s paramilitary resources have been otherwise stretched thin in Afghanistan and on other counterterrorism missions, the U.S.-based training program has been a “high priority” for the CIA since its Obama-era inception, said the former senior intelligence official.

The program did not require, or receive, a new presidential finding, which is used to authorize covert action, and has been run under previously existing authorities, according to former officials.

The Trump administration — partially at the urging of Congress — later expanded funding for the initiative, increasing the number of Ukrainian cohorts brought over yearly to the U.S., according to former officials.

Training forces that could take part in an insurgency is not the same as actively supporting an insurgency if one takes place following a Russian invasion. TheBiden administration has reportedly assembled a task force to determine how the CIA and other U.S. agencies could support a Ukrainian insurgency, should Russia launch a large-scale incursion.

“If the Russians invade, those [graduates of the CIA programs] are going to be your militia, your insurgent leaders,” said the former senior intelligence official. “We’ve been training these guys now for eight years. They’re really good fighters. That’s where the agency’s program could have a serious impact.”

Over the years, the CIA training programs have been “very effective,” said the former CIA executive.

It has helped “turn the tide,” said the first former CIA official, who said he or she was briefed that “gains were being made on the battlefield” as a “direct result” of the program.


Both U.S. and Ukrainian officials believe that Ukrainian forces will not be able to withstand a large-scale Russian incursion, according to former U.S. officials. But representatives from both countries also believe that Russia won’t be able to hold on to new territory indefinitely because of stiff resistance from Ukrainian insurgents, according to former officials.

Working so closely with the Ukrainians has presented unique challenges, according to former officials. For years, U.S. officials have believed that, because of Russia’s web of spies within Ukraine’s intelligence services, the program has very likely been compromised by Moscow.

Senior Trump administration officials discussed worries about Russian penetration of the program with their Ukrainian counterparts, according to a former national security official. The Ukrainians, well aware of the issue, have tried to vet the U.S.-bound trainees to weed out moles, according to former officials.

Still, Trump-era National Security Council officials established a rule not to tell the Ukrainians anything they weren’t comfortable with the Russians subsequently learning about, recalled the former national security official.

A small number of trainees in the earlier U.S.-based cohorts were sent back to Ukraine for breaking security rules, like possessing unauthorized electronic devices, according to the first former CIA official.

CIA officials also believed their trainees were being targeted by the Russians once they returned to Ukraine. “Russians and traitorous Russian loyalists within the Ukrainian security services were seeking out graduates of those classes to assassinate,” said the former CIA official.


Russian penetration of Ukrainian intelligence has been a long-standing problem for the CIA, according to former intelligence officials. For decades, the agency has tried to work only with special select Ukrainian units — some created at the agency’s insistence — that have been isolated from the rest of the country’s intelligence services in order to prevent Russian compromise, according to former officials.

Even though the CIA assumes some Russian compromise when working with the Ukrainians, the agency still believes the training program has been, on balance, highly valuable, according to former officials.

If the Russians launch a new invasion, “there’s going to be people who make their life miserable,” said the former senior intelligence official. The CIA-trained paramilitaries “will organize the resistance” using the specialized training they’ve received.

“All that stuff that happened to us in Afghanistan,” said the former senior intelligence official, “they can expect to see that in spades with these guys.”

https://news.yahoo.com/cia-trained-...central-role-if-russia-invades-185258008.html
 

aziqbal

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Royal Air Force has continuous air operations to monitor the situation over Crimea and Northern Russia

RC135 joint Rivet surveillance flights have been flying from both RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus and RAF Waddington around the clock

Royal Navy Nuclear Submarines is in North Sea and USS Washington one of the newest Virginia Class Hunter Killer just took supplies from Tromso in Norway and USS Albany was in Gibraltar few weeks ago

Russia tried play clever and they almost got away with it

they played with refugees in Belarus as a diversion and deployed 92,000 troops to eastern Ukraine while at the same playing with energy supply's to act as cover

little did they know UK is not that stupid and ruled 1/4 of the Globe for 250 years and know a thing or two

now they tried to divert attention again by making up the whole Kazakstan cover story deploy troops to Kazakstan to show more force, the might impress China defiantly not UK

if Russia dreams to make a move on Ukraine you can bet your bottom dollar Russia will cease to exist
 

PakFactor

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Over the last several weeks of observing the situation and reading further into everything, I would act the same way as the Russian's, Ukranian belligerence and NATO overreach has led to this situation and the Western block has themselves to blame for the mess there in, any dumb motherf*cker with an ounce of brain could've seen this situation developing down the road if you are creeping up on someone. Good luck to NATO & all involved, not like I'm going to die fighting for them.
 
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mhosein

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Translation: CIA controlled Ukrainian combat units will trigger a response from Russia and the Western Mainstream will parrot the State Department's line that Russia has invaded Ukraine.
Over the last several weeks of observing the situation and reading further into everything, I would act the same way as the Russian's, Ukranian belligerence and NATO overreach has led to this situation and the Western block has themselves to blame for the mess there in, any dumb motherf*cker with an ounce of brain could've seen this situation developing down the road if you are creeping up on someone. Good luck to NATO & all involved, not like I'm going to die fighting for them.

Any Muslim who has an ounce of Imaan knows that Russia is not the one who will start this war. And a Muslim with Imaan knows that Russia will prevail over the West.
 

F-22Raptor

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Royal Air Force has continuous air operations to monitor the situation over Crimea and Northern Russia

RC135 joint Rivet surveillance flights have been flying from both RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus and RAF Waddington around the clock

Royal Navy Nuclear Submarines is in North Sea and USS Washington one of the newest Virginia Class Hunter Killer just took supplies from Tromso in Norway and USS Albany was in Gibraltar few weeks ago

Russia tried play clever and they almost got away with it

they played with refugees in Belarus as a diversion and deployed 92,000 troops to eastern Ukraine while at the same playing with energy supply's to act as cover

little did they know UK is not that stupid and ruled 1/4 of the Globe for 250 years and know a thing or two

now they tried to divert attention again by making up the whole Kazakstan cover story deploy troops to Kazakstan to show more force, the might impress China defiantly not UK

if Russia dreams to make a move on Ukraine you can bet your bottom dollar Russia will cease to exist


Ukraine couldn’t stop Russias armored formations. Relative to Ukraine, it’s to numerous and advanced.

But a Ukrainian insurgency armed with Advanced anti tank, anti air, and small arms provided by the US will make life misery for the Russians trying to control Ukrainian territory.
 

aziqbal

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Ukraine couldn’t stop Russias armored formations. Relative to Ukraine, it’s to numerous and advanced.

But a Ukrainian insurgency armed with Advanced anti tank, anti air, and small arms provided by the US will make life misery for the Russians trying to control Ukrainian territory.

yes but before it gets to that Russia must be shown strength of the allied forces so it doesnt make that mistake

if Russia goes Ito Ukraine which I highly doubt they will they know that US will pour resources into the Pacific and JMSDF will add a formidable punch too

UK can deal with Russia in the West

We will split Russia in half and Russia will go back to 1991 and we know they dont want that
 

Pakistan Space Agency

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I hope the US, UK and France will provide a nuclear umbrella to Ukraine.

Russia can't go around bullying smaller nations in the neighbourhood just because nobody likes them... or wants to be friends with them.
 

Steppe Wolff

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I hope the US, UK and France will provide a nuclear umbrella to Ukraine.

Russia can't go around bullying smaller nations in the neighbourhood just because nobody likes them... or wants to be friends with them.
But you can’t blame Russia for acting belligerent. NATO is entrenching itself in areas which Russia sees its backyard/sphere of influence. The same way Indians tried to establish their stronghold in our western borders but got their asses kicked.
 

Menthol

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The source of all the problems is actually USA.

Many people say this in WW3.

It's a long conflict that started in Middle East, then the war keeps continues, ending with the conflict with Russia.

Destroyed one-third of the world in the end.

I think USA should give up the mentality of Cold War winner and winner takes all because USA is actually not winning, the world is already different.

It's a multipolar world when every country tries to move forward and becomes developed.
 

Bengal71

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If Russia is serious about an invasion, this kind of training won't stop them. If Russia decides to invade, it will be quick and they will win.
 

PakFactor

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If Russia is serious about an invasion, this kind of training won't stop them. If Russia decides to invade, it will be quick and they will win.

The window of opportunity is within the next 2 years for Russia to invade and solve the problem.
Any longer and they'll be in a Taiwan/China situation.
 

Oldman1

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Afghan National Army was also trained by US. :hitwall:

Also trained the Mujahedeen against the Russians.
If Russia is serious about an invasion, this kind of training won't stop them. If Russia decides to invade, it will be quick and they will win.

Doubt it. If I was Ukraine, I can easily go to the bordering countries to rearm and recruit and keep harassing the Russians. Russia won't invade the other countries over it.
 

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