By their very nature, articles about secret operations are based on secret sources and rumors, and as such, should be taken with a grain of salt.
Ever since the start of the Donbass conflict – actually for many years before it, too, going back at least to the first American-backed government change in 2004 – there had been constant reports of American involvement in Ukraine, CIA controlling government officials, Soros and US State Dept giving billions of dollars to pro-American forces “under the table”, etc. Undoubtedly, a lot of it is false… but a lot of is true, and we can read about it in memoirs and leaked US State Dept cables.
As they say in Russia, “there is no smoke without a fire”, or perhaps another saying is even more appropriate – “Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean THEY are not watching”.
Article by Alexander Yablokov (originally published Feb 2015). Translation by Tatzhit. Aug 20 2015.
One may get a false impression that Ukraine is run mostly by Georgians, slightly “diluted” by Baltic residents. And yes, the Georgian ex-President Mikhail Saakashvili [*who is now a wanted man in Georgia] leads the “Committee of reforms”, imported highlanders [from his team] are at the helm in the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health, and the name Ebanoidze (one of the deputies of the main lawyer of the country, responsible for the State registries) even became a household word [**Ebanoidze sounds like Fuckaidze to slavic people].
However, the real functions of “colonial managers” are mainly ornamental. They are supposed to symbolize the lack of corruption among “the new European government”. Although no one can explain why the mass invasion of mountain peoples from the east is a symbol of “Eurointegration”, official propaganda is not stumped by such discrepancies.
In contrast to US-trained colonial managers, actual Americans are hardly visible in government and presidential offices. The only exception is US citizen Natalia Yaresko, in charge of the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine. However, due to her roots and the characteristic “American diaspora” Ukrainian she passes for “local” compared to masses of Russian-speaking Georgians. Yaresko is, almost officially, considered to be the US State Dept overseer monitoring allocation of IMF tranches. Ukraine has fallen on hard times – no one can not be trusted with money, not even the cheerful Georgians.
However, there is another side to the American presence in Ukraine. Kiev is filled with “quiet Americans” from the famous novel of the same name by the English writer Graham Greene. One of the heroes of the novel, US intelligence officer Pyle, constantly launches into lengthy speeches, proclaiming himself to be a fighter for democracy. While fighting for “just causes” and creating the so-called “third force”, which, in his opinion, would lead Vietnam to prosperity and democracy, Pyle organizes a bombing in a crowded area. This action leads to the deaths of many women and children not involved in politics. For the CIA agent they only “biomass”, to quote Yulia Tymoshenko. … Graham’s novel could have been written about modern-day Ukraine, as well. Today’s “quiet Americans” arrive in their company cars at exactly ten minutes to nine to the SBU [State Security Service] main office. They are thirty to forty years old, dressed in suits and street jackets of various, often very bright, colors. All with shopping bags, paper cups, none of them smoke, all speak English loudly. This American show (and they are impossible to confuse with anyone else) can also be seen when they take a lunch break from 12 to 1pm, as well as when they get a break at four. Many stay late.
Restaurants and bars within two hundred meters from the SBU have dramatically changed their selection of dishes. Now they serve latte with skim milk, ribs in barbecue sauce and a variety of vegetarian dishes. A similar pattern can be seen on Tarasovskaya street, where this abrupt change of dishes happened near the office of the State Security Directorate of Military Intelligence. Even such secluded places as “Forest” (complex of buildings under the Foreign Intelligence Service, near Bilogorodka) and “Island” (Army Intelligence center on Rybalskiy island) underwent Americanization. A telltale sign of mass American presence is a sharp spike in pizza and sushi deliveries in these areas. Ukrainian secret service agents never used to eat those types of fast food, preferring simple Slavic cooking and inexpensive alcohol.
Moreover, can you imagine self-respecting State Security operatives driving cheap “Lanos” and “Chevrolet” cars? Such cars are what “quiet Americans” drive to “blend in”. They just did not take local corruption into account.
General Anatoly (I won’t disclose his last name), my former classmate, complained that in his old age he now has to learn English. Languages were hard for him even in college, and he chose the easiest option – Spanish. …
The “quiet Americans” quickly developed a structure of behind-the-scenes presence in the intelligence and law enforcement agencies of Ukraine. However, if they go to the SBU as if they full-time work there, the Ministry of Defense, the General Staff and the Ministry of Interior are controlled through a system of “supervisors”. Americans prefer to communicate with their clients through “meetings” conducted in safehouses well-protected from wiretapping (mostly rented apartments), during which the necessary adjustments are made.
I almost forgot: “quiet Americans” now enter the Cabinet of Ministers with the help of badges saying simply “Guest”. During the old regime, there was a whole system of issuing permits for foreigners. State secrets, and so on. Now everything is simplified: there is a special list and badges. Very convenient.
After creating an extensive organizational and supervisory framework in the relevant bodies of Ukraine, Kiev is constantly visited by high-ranking American curators, many-star generals. We are not talking about protocol diplomatic meetings and “scientific conferences”. Each arrival has planned meetings with the people in charge within the SBU, military intelligence, the Ministry of Defense. They discuss the strategy and tactics of the “anti-terrorist operation”, the combat readiness of the Ukrainian army, reform plans, promoting new officials.
Therefore, frequent visits of the Commander of Land Forces in Europe, US Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, to Kiev should be seen in this context. This is about purely practical implementation of the American strategy in Ukraine, through the power structures of the country that are mostly controlled by American advisers.
General Hodges is currently responsible for the UAF retraining program. Less than a month, at the Yavoriv staging area, the Americans are launching a project to create “Ukrainian mobile units capable of operating in a situation where Russians are jamming communications and using precision weapons.” Apparently, Yavoriv base, located in Lviv, in close proximity to Poland, would be the prototype of a US military base in Ukraine.
After each visit of the Commander of the US Army, all Ukrainian elites repeat his ideological orientation like a mantra. In January 2015, Hodges said in Kiev that “the Russian Federation is at war against Ukrainian forces.” Since then Poroshenko talks about the “open Russian aggression” even during parties, so as not to forget.
Hodges, with military directness, says that the main purpose of his work is the creation of new Ukrainian armed forces on a NATO model.
The current commander of NATO forces in Ukraine works in close communication with the former commander of NATO forces in Kosovo, General Wesley Clark. There’s probably no need to explain why this “sweet couple” has formed. Clark was in charge of military matters during the bloody dismemberment of former Yugoslavia, and his experience in this is sorely needed in Ukraine. Clark, in his old age, has became a theoretician and loves to talk in the Ukrainian media about the “true purpose of Putin, who seeks to split Ukraine, tear it away from the West and make the country poor and disenfranchised.”
We should pay attention to the following point: if earlier Kiev was supervised mostly by high-ranking CIA officials (former and current), now this role is performed by senior US military personnel, also former and current. Almost all local politicians try to meet with Americans during their visits. Especially the ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who dropped off the list of “those in power” and is now merely the leader of the smallest faction in the parliament. She even suggested to make Clark the chief overseer of the assistance to Ukraine from the United States. However, her “licking” was not counted, as Washington is not currently interested in her services. The boot-licking of the Kiev political elite show for US “monitors” is understandable; Americans now control approval for everything, from financial assistance, to UAF operations, and appointments in the security services, MOD, the Cabinet and the President’s Administration.
In particular, the first deputy head of the Anti-Terrorist Center of the SBU (in charge of ATO in Donetsk and Luhansk regions) Sergey Popko was put there by the US DIA, as was the “eternal Speaker” of the ATO Andrei Lysenko. Both of them were recruited by the US military intelligence almost simultaneously, some time ago.
Currently, almost all the analytical, organizational and military support of the Ukrainian authorities is carried out by “quiet Americans”. “Georgian” and “Baltic” managers are mostly for show, and anyways they are actually the same American-trained managers previously used in Georgia and the Baltics.
American plans for the near future include creation of developed military infrastructure in the Ukraine, including training centers, and deployment of electronic surveillance infrastructure in Ukrainian territory. Preparatory work is already underway for rebuilding the airport in Uzin (Kiev region) as a powerful military transport “hub” that will solve the problem of efficient transfer of technology, equipment and specialists to Ukraine.
In a suburb of the capital, work is underway to create a “cottage town”. Against the backdrop of a failing housing market in Kiev, the construction of an autonomous gated town looks pretty strange. And no wonder, given the American habit of staying in comfortable “secure zones” isolated from the “natives”. “Heroes” from the novel by Graham Greene have arrived in Kiev to stay. The struggle for “democracy” never ends quickly: in Vietnam it lasted decades. Ukrainian “natives” are not easy to control, especially in the Donbas. “Democratization” in Ukraine has been costly and bloody. But the local “Piles” do not lose heart, because everything is just beginning …