The U.S. CIA is reportedly overseeing a secret training program for Ukrainian special forces, in an effort to “enhance” their “ability to push back against the Russians.”
The US agency has been conducting the secret training program “for elite Ukrainian special operations forces and other intelligence personnel,” Yahoo News reported on January 13, citing five former intelligence and national security officials familiar with the initiative.
According to the report the program started at an undisclosed facility in the southern US in 2015.
“The United States is training an insurgency,” a former CIA official was quoted as saying. The official said that the program has taught the Ukrainians how “to kill Russians.” “If the Russians invade, those [graduates of the CIA programs] are going to be your militia, your insurgent leaders,” said the former 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.”
“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.
A former senior intelligence official who maintains ties with colleagues in the government said that the administration of US President Joe Biden has expanded this program established by the administration of former President Barack Obama, and further augmented under the administration of Donald Trump.
The foreign forces are reportedly training in firearms, camouflage techniques, land navigation, tactics like “cover and move,” intelligence and other areas, as well as “very specific training on skills that would enhance” the Ukrainians’ “ability to push back against the Russians.”
The forces trained by the CIA are aimed to play a decisive role in the event of an escalation on the eastern border of Ukraine. As the US and Ukrainian officials believe that Ukrainian forces are not able to withstand a possible Russian incursion by their own means.
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