There has been reports of CIA paramilitaries attempting to kill Russians by using the Ukrainian defense. The disguised attempt comes in the form of a special training operation to teach the Ukrainians how to kill Russians.
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Yahoo News reported on Thursday, citing five former intelligence and national security officials that the CIA has been overseeing a secret training program for Ukrainian special operations forces and intelligence operatives since 2015.
One former CIA official said the US is “training an insurgency” in Ukraine and that the program teaches the Ukrainians how “to kill Russians,” whereas other officials downplayed the training and said it was not meant for offensive purposes.
The training was started by the Obama administration and has been held at an undisclosed base in the southern United States. The training was then expanded by President Trump, and further expanded by President Biden. The program includes training in camouflage techniques, firearms, land navigation, and other areas, former officials told Yahoo.
According to the report:
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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.
The program was overseen by the spy agency’s elite paramilitary unit, the CIA’s Ground Branch. The Ground Branch personnel were deployed to the front in eastern Ukraine to advise the Ukrainian forces, the Yahoo report said by 2015.
Additionally a former senior intelligence official was quoted as saying:
“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.”
In comments to Yahoo, the CIA denied that it has been training a Ukrainian insurgency. But The New York Times reported on Friday that the US is considering supporting an insurgency in Ukraine if Russia invades.
The US has been claiming Russia is planning to invade Ukraine, for months now, an accusation Moscow strongly denies. Russia held talks this week with the US and NATO on Ukraine and other issues, but little progress was made.