By their very nature, articles about secret operations are based on secret sources and rumors, and as such, should be taken with a grain
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
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
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 –
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
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 …