According to an article by William Arkin in Newsweek, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has a presence in Ukraine and operates a secret supply network to assist the Kiev government in its conflict with Russia. Anonymous sources within the US government claim that the CIA’s involvement in the war in Ukraine predates its official start. The director of the CIA, William Burns, reportedly visited Moscow in January 2022 to try to dissuade Russia from invading Ukraine. While he was unsuccessful in preventing the invasion, he supposedly convinced the Kremlin to accept certain “rules” proposed by US President Joe Biden.
These rules, as described in the article, dictate that Washington and Kiev will not undertake any actions that might threaten Russia or the survival of the Russian state. In return, Moscow agrees not to escalate the war beyond Ukraine or use nuclear weapons. According to an anonymous senior defense intelligence official, it is the responsibility of the US to enforce these pledges. Arkin claims to have spoken with over a dozen officials and intelligence experts during a three-month investigation, but no named sources appear in the article.
The sources allege that the CIA is running a campaign to support Ukraine from Poland, utilizing a “gray fleet” of commercial aircraft to transport weapons and other materials through central and eastern Europe. CIA agents are said to enter and exit Ukraine on secret missions to assist with new weapons and systems, while avoiding direct confrontation with Russian troops.
Despite the CIA’s involvement, the article suggests that Ukraine may not be following Biden’s rules. Newsweek points to attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines, the Kerch Bridge bombing, and drone attacks on Russian air bases and the Kremlin as evidence that Ukraine may not be adhering to the secret agreement with Moscow. These attacks have raised questions about whether the CIA knows enough about Ukrainian plans to both influence them and uphold the agreement.
The article also raises doubts about Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s thinking and intentions. According to an anonymous military intelligence official, the CIA learned from the attack on the Crimean Bridge that Zelensky either lacks complete control over his own military or deliberately avoids knowledge of certain actions.
However, Zelensky himself contradicted the claims in the article, stating in a recent interview with CNN that Ukraine has no secrets from the CIA. He commented on the agency’s director’s visit to Kiev, implying that the relationship between Ukraine and the CIA is open and transparent.
In summary, the Newsweek article reports that the CIA is actively supporting Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, operating a secret supply network and conducting covert operations. However, there are concerns about Ukraine’s adherence to the agreed-upon rules and uncertainties surrounding President Zelensky’s control over his military. Zelensky himself denies any secret dealings with the CIA and asserts transparency in the relationship.