Ukraine Receives Millions from the CIA for Building Special Services - The Washington Post
Ukraine has received tens of millions of dollars from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States for the development of its special services, as reported by The Washington Post.
"According to current and former Ukrainian and American officials, elite teams of Ukrainian operatives who were formed, trained, and equipped in close partnership with the CIA were involved in Ukraine's missions," the publication stated.
The agency's aim was to transform Ukraine's Soviet-style special services into allies in the fight against Moscow.
Ukraine obtained cutting-edge surveillance systems from the CIA. Americans trained recruits on sites both in Ukraine and the USA, and the intelligence exchange took place on a scale that was inconceivable before Russia's occupation of Crimea and the outbreak of war in eastern Ukraine, The Washington Post asserts.
Initial stages of cooperation were tentative, given the concerns of both sides about the continued penetration of the Ukrainian services by Russia's FSB. Therefore, the CIA worked with Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) to establish a new department that would focus on "active measures" against Russia and would be isolated from other SBU units.
According to official sources cited by The Washington Post, the initial missions were concentrated on recruiting informants among Russian proxy forces and cyber and electronic eavesdropping efforts. The SBU also began conducting sabotage operations and missions to capture separatist leaders and Ukrainian collaborators, some of whom were taken to undisclosed detention sites.
However, over time, the consequences of these operations began to turn lethal, The Washington Post continues. In the course of three years, at least half a dozen Russian operatives, high-ranking separatist commanders, or collaborators have been eliminated as a result of actions often attributed to internal settling of scores, but were actually the work of the SBU.
"We never involved our international partners in covert operations, especially across the front line," a former Ukrainian law enforcement officer told the publication.
Ukraine's inclination towards lethal operations complicated its cooperation with the CIA and raised concerns among Washington officials about the agency's involvement, The Washington Post asserts.
Nevertheless, according to a high-ranking Ukrainian security official, Ukraine always avoided using weapons or equipment that could be traced back to U.S. sources.
As previously reported by The Gaze, the Ukrainian Parliament established a temporary special commission for controlling the receipt and use of material and technical assistance from Western partners back in 2022. Half a year later, the United States created a similar commission. In 2022, Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council and the Ministry of Defence, with support from allies, also launched monitoring systems for Western weaponry, including LOGFAS, Karavai, and SOTA.