CIA agents have been stationed in Kiev to share US intel with Ukrainian troops, a report says
A secret network of commandos and spies from the US and its allies is working to provide weapons, intelligence and training to Ukraine, the New York Times reported on Saturday, citing current and former American and European officials.
While much of the work takes place at bases in Britain, Germany and France, some CIA agents have been stationed in Ukraine, mostly in the country's capital of Kiev, the paper said.
The agents are tasked with sharing satellite images and other intelligence with Ukrainian troops, according to the report.
The US announced the evacuation of military instructors from Ukraine in February. Shortly after Russia launched a military campaign in Ukraine in late February, the US Army's 10th Special Forces Group set up a planning cell in Germany to coordinate military aid to Kiev, the NYT said. The cell has reportedly grown to 20 nations.
NYT said that "a few dozen commandos" from other NATO member states, including Canada, Britain, France and Lithuania have also been working in Ukraine.
NATO members are 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 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 kicked off in Germany on Sunday. The group, which comprises the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, have imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia.
Moscow has said in the past that it will treat foreign weapons as legitimate targets on Ukrainian soil.