CIA Set up 12 Secret Facilities in Ukraine Along Russian Border Over Eight Year Period – NYT Report

Orinoco TRibune, February 27, 2024 —

American intelligence agencies reportedly collaborated closely with their Ukrainian counterparts, providing training to operatives conducting missions in Russia, Europe, Cuba, and other areas with an active Russian presence.

The Central Intelligence Agency created a dozen secret spy bases in Ukraine near the border with Russia over the past eight years, with the Eastern European country becoming one of Washington’s most important tools for intel operations against Moscow. That’s according to a New York Times expose published Sunday citing former and current officials from Ukraine, the US and Europe.

The intelligence “partnership” “took root a decade ago,” and “has transformed Ukraine, whose intelligence agencies were long seen as thoroughly compromised by Russia, into one of Washington’s most important intelligence partners against the Kremlin today,” the publication indicated.

The 12 secret locations constituted “forward operating bases” from which networks of agents gathering intel inside Russia were run. The CIA is said to have overseen a training program known as ‘Operation Goldfish’ to train Ukrainian intel agents to assume fake identities and work to steal secrets in Russia, and to operate as “trained sleeper agents” to wage guerilla war against the Russian military.

American intelligence agents reportedly worked closely with Ukrainian personnel, including the chief of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, Kyrylo Budanov, before his appointment to his current post. In addition, the CIA trained Ukrainian spies to operate in Russia, Europe, Cuba and other places where Russians are present.

According to the report, even after the withdrawal of most American government personnel from Ukraine in February 2022, US intelligence officers remained active in western Ukraine, passing on intelligence information, including where Russia planned to strike and what weapons systems would be used

“Without them, there would have been no way for us to resist the Russians, or to beat them,” the NYT cited Ivan Bakanov, former head of Ukraine’s domestic intelligence agency, the SBU, as saying.

The NYT said that since 2016, Ukrainians occasionally violated the terms of cooperation which Washington set out for them, “organizing assassinations and other deadly operations” which America supposedly disapproved of. The US threatened to withdraw support, but never did, according to the newspaper.

The CIA and other US intel agencies’ cooperation with and efforts to take control of their Ukrainian counterparts began almost immediately after the 2014 Euromaidan coup d’etat, with the post-coup government’s new spy chief, Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, calling the Ukrainian CIA station chief and the local head of MI6, inviting them to tour the SBU Ukrainian spy headquarters and asking for assistance in rebuilding it “from the ground up.”

Then-US CIA director John Brennan touched down in Kiev shortly after, telling Nalyvaichenko that US assistance would be forthcoming if Ukraine “could provide intelligence of value to the Americans” and purged the SBU of any suspected Russian spies within its ranks.

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