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‘Stealthy Logistics & Training’: US Special Ops Cell Reportedly Coordinates Weapons Flow to Ukraine

26 Jun 2022 14:23

Islam Times - The United States and its Western allies have been utilizing a stealthy network of special operations commandos and spies as part of their sweeping effort to provide weapons, intelligence and training to Ukraine, The New York Times reported.

As Russia continues its special operation launched in February to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine, some Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) personnel have continued to secretly operate in the country, mostly in the capital, Kiev, according to current and former US and European officials cited by the outlet.

These operatives have reportedly been helping direct much of the intelligence-sharing between the United States and Kiev’s forces, even as the administration of US President Joe Biden has maintained it will not deploy American troops to Ukraine.
Furthermore, a few dozen commandos from other NATO countries, including Britain, France, Canada and Lithuania, have also been working inside Ukraine, training and advising troops. It is these crack units that have been providing an “on-the-ground conduit” for weapons and other aid funneled into Ukraine by the West, according to cited US officials.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin announced the special operation to demilitarize Ukraine following a plea for assistance from breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk to defend them from intensifying attacks by the Kiev regime.
Before the Ukraine crisis came to a head, the US Army’s 10th Special Forces Group had been training Ukrainian commandos at a base in the country’s West. However, after February 24th it established a coalition “planning cell” in Germany, according to the report.
The “cell” was tasked with coordinating military assistance to Ukrainian troops, and has since been augmented by several dozen commandos from other NATO countries, including Britain, France, Canada and Lithuania.
Working within Ukraine, the clandestine outfit is now reportedly represented by 20 nations. The cell’s commandos advise from headquarters scattered across various parts of Ukraine that are further away from the frontlines and often resort to encrypted communications, according to insiders.
As an example of this coordination, several lower-level Ukrainian commanders recently touted the benefits of US intelligence gleaned from satellite imagery seen on tablet computers provided by the allies. The tablets, claimed the report, run a battlefield mapping app that the Ukrainians use in their desperate struggle to put up a resistance to the Russian operation.
The secret cell, claimed the report, and is inherently part of a broader fixture of operational and intelligence coordination cells run by the Pentagon’s European Command outside of Ukraine. Thus, a US Air Force and Air National Guard team - Grey Wolf – reportedly provides support on tactics and techniques to the Ukrainian air force, conducting its operations at Germany’s Ramstein Air Base, according to a cited military spokesman.
Last month, the United States Secretary of the Army, Christine E. Wormuth, praised the special operations cell for its efforts to “manage the flow of weapons and equipment” in Ukraine, recalled the publication.
“As the Ukrainians try to move that around and evade the Russians potentially trying to target convoys, you know, we are trying to be able to help coordinate moving all of those different sort of shipments… Another thing I think we can help with,” she said, “is intelligence about where the threats to those convoys may be."
However, much as the CIA may pride itself in providing ’s training in counterterrorism operations, What Ukrainians need right now is classic military training in how to use rocket artillery, like the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, stated Douglas H. Wise, a former deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and retired senior CIA officer.
“I can’t imagine the C.I.A. training Ukrainian guys how to fire HIMARS,” he was cited as noting.
A new US $450 million military package for Ukraine includes HIMARS rocket systems, besides thousands of additional rounds of ammunition, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby has confirmed. The Biden administration has so far sent four of the mobile multiple-launch rocket systems to Ukraine.
According to Pentagon officials, the first group of 60 Ukrainian soldiers have already been trained on how to use the systems, with a second group undergoing training in Germany.
Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters earlier, “It’s no good to just throw those systems into the battlefield.”
Russia has repeatedly warned the US and its allies about the dangers of sending weapons to Ukraine, stressing that the cargoes are considered a legitimate military target for Russian missiles. Furthermore, according to Moscow, such military assistance only serves to prolong the conflict. Furthermore, it could even risk a direct confrontation with NATO.
These concerns have been cited by several former US officials, according to the report, which cited Douglas H. Wise as adding, “Would the enhancement of the training be worth the possible price that is going to have to be paid? An answer is probably not.”

Story Code: 1001235

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