A secret network of commandos and spies from the US, and some of its allies, is working to provide weapons, intelligence and training to Ukraine, the New York Times (NYT) reported on Saturday, citing current and former American and European officials.
While much of the activity takes place at bases in Britain, Germany and France, some CIA agents have been stationed in the east European country, mostly in the capital Kiev, the paper said.
The agents are tasked with sharing satellite images and other intelligence with Ukrainian troops, according to the story.
The US announced the evacuation of military instructors from Ukraine in February. Shortly afterwards, Russia launched its military campaign and the US Army’s 10th Special Forces Group set up a planning cell in Germany to coordinate military aid to Kiev, the paper explained. The group has reportedly grown to include participants from 20 nations.
The NYT added that “a few dozen commandos” from other NATO member states, including Canada, Britain, France and Lithuania, have also been working in Ukraine.
NATO members have been supplying Ukraine with heavy weapons, including missile launchers, combat drones and armored vehicles, and training Ukrainian troops to use them. In recent months, the Pentagon has delivered M142 HIMARS multiple rocket launchers and M777 howitzers.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said last week that Ukraine was facing “a pivotal moment on the battlefield” and urged Washington’s allies to continue aiding Kiev.
The report about the activities of Western commandos and CIA agents in and around Ukraine comes as a three-day Group of Seven (G7) summit kicks off in Germany on Sunday. The group, which comprises of the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, which have imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia.
Moscow has said in the past that it will treat foreign weapons, on Ukrainian soil, as legitimate targets.