Home of Lisa's Top Ten, the daily email that brings you the world.
The first task of the day

Sign Up for Lisa's Top Ten


CIA Fears ‘Disastrous Consequences’ as Ukraine Ignores U.S. Warnings Against Sabotage Operations: Report

Getty Images
Getty Images

By: Micaela Burrow, Daily Caller News Foundation

A slate of suspected Ukraine-backed sabotage operations set off a CIA alarm that Kyiv’s actions and refusal to heed repeated warnings from the agency could lead to disastrous consequences for the war, Newsweek reported, citing military and intelligence officials.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has openly pledged not to attack Russia, and early in the war entered an implicit “non-agreement” with the U.S. to avoid attempting sabotage operations as a condition of more U.S. assistance with better, longer-range weapons, according to Newsweek. However, a series of mysterious attacks likely perpetrated by Ukraine or pro-Ukraine partisans, including the explosions on the Nord Stream pipelines, the truck bomb on the Kerch Strait bridge near Crimea and drone attacks deep inside Russia, threaten to upend the conflict’s delicate clandestine underworld.

“The CIA learned with the attack on the Crimea bridge that Zelenskyy either didn’t have complete control over his own military or didn’t want to know of certain actions,” the military intelligence official told Newsweek. Zelenskyy has denied responsibility for the attacks.

The CIA had no prior knowledge of Ukrainian planning for the sabotage attacks, a senior U.S. government official told Newsweek.

“I hesitate to say that the CIA has failed,” the senior U.S. intelligence official told the outlet, but added that the agency is concerned ballooning sabotage operations conducted by both sides of the conflict have “could have disastrous consequences.”

CIA Director William Burns stopped in Kyiv in January to reiterate the warnings against disrupting the fragile, rules-of-the-road understanding that exists among the players in the war on what is and is not acceptable in clandestine activities, according to Newsweek. The meeting produced little tangible results.

“Kyiv was beginning to taste a potential victory and was therefore more willing to take risks,” the second senior intelligence official said.

In a secret CIA-led negotiations involving Ukraine and dozens of other unnamed countries, Kyiv agreed not to use the U.S.-provided long range weapons to attack Russia.

“Zelenskyy has certainly outdone everyone else in getting what he wants, but Kyiv has had to agree to obey certain invisible lines as well,” the senior defense intelligence official told Newsweek.

CIA operators stationed in bases near Ukraine have embarked on multiple missions inside the country as the agency attempts to secure reliable flows of information about what Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin are thinking and planning, Newsweek reported. The personnel also assist Ukrainians in operating American weapons and systems, first reported by the New York Times in June 2022. Most of those operations are not made public, according to Newsweek.

CIA operations have all been conducted with a view to avoid direct confrontation with Russian troops, the official explained.

“The CIA has been operating inside Ukraine, under strict rules, and with a cap on how many personnel can be in country at any one time,” another senior military intelligence official told the outlet. “Black special operators are restricted from conducting clandestine missions, and when they do, it is within a very narrow scope.”

Some countries like the United Kingdom and Poland have proven willing to take greater risks than the U.S. would prefer, while nations neighboring Ukraine fear further antagonizing Putin.

“In my humble opinion, the CIA fails to understand the nature of the Ukrainian state and the reckless factions that exist there,” a senior Polish government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Newsweek.

The CIA did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Related Story: The CIA Warned Ukraine Not to Blow Up the Nord Stream Pipeline: Report

Read More

Related Posts