CIA Built “12 Secret Spy Bases” In Ukraine & Waged Shadow War For Last Decade, Bombshell NYT Report Confirms

Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | February 25, 2024

On Sunday The New York Times published an explosive and very belated full admission that US intelligence has not only been instrumental in Ukraine wartime decision-making, but has established and financed high tech command-and-control spy centers, and was doing so long prior to the Feb. 24 Russian invasion of two years ago.

Among the biggest revelations is that the program was established a decade ago and spans three different American presidents. The Times says the CIA program to modernize Ukraine’s intelligence services has “transformed” the former Soviet state and its capabilities into “Washington’s most important intelligence partners against the Kremlin today.”

This has included the agency having secretly trained and equipped Ukrainian intelligence officers spanning back to just after the 2014 Maidan coup events, as well constructing a network of 12 secret bases along the Russian borderwork which began eight years ago. These intelligence bases, from which Russian commanders’ communications can be swept up and Russian spy satellites monitored, are being used launch and track cross-border drone and missile attacks on Russian territory.

This means that with the disclosure of the longtime “closely guarded secret” the world just got a big step closer to WW3, given it means the CIA is largely responsible for the effectiveness of the recent spate of attacks which have included direct drone hits on key oil refineries and energy infrastructure.

“Without them [the CIA and elite commandoes it’s trained], there would have been no way for us to resist the Russians, or to beat them,” according to Ivan Bakanov, former head of the SBU, which is Ukraine’s domestic intelligence agency.

A main source of the NYT revelationsdisclosures which might come as no surprise to those never willing to so easily swallow the mainstream ‘official’ narrative of eventsis identified as a top intelligence commander named Gen. Serhii Dvoretskiy.

Clearly, Kiev and Washington now want world to know of the deep intelligence relationship they tried to conceal for over the past decade. It is perhaps a kind of warning to Moscow at a moment Ukraine’s forces are in retreat: the US is fighting hand in glove with the Ukrainians. And yet the revelations contained in the NY Times report also confirm what President Putin has precisely accused Washington of all along.

While the lengthy NYT report is full of fresh revelations and confirmation of just how deeply the CIA has always been involved in Ukraine, below are seven of the biggest contained in the story

Description of secret spy bunker

The report contains a surprisingly detailed description of one of the ‘secret’ underground command centers established by the CIA near the Russian border… location undisclosed of course:

Not far away, a discreet passageway descends to a subterranean bunker where teams of Ukrainian soldiers track Russian spy satellites and eavesdrop on conversations between Russian commanders. On one screen, a red line followed the route of an explosive drone threading through Russian air defenses from a point in central Ukraine to a target in the Russian city of Rostov.

The underground bunker, built to replace the destroyed command center in the months after Russia’s invasion, is a secret nerve center of Ukraine’s military.

There is also one more secret: The base is almost fully financed, and partly equipped, by the CIA.

Elite commando force

Within two years after the 2014 West-backed coup in Ukraine, the CIA had set up a training program for elite Ukrainian operatives:

Around 2016, the CIA began training an elite Ukrainian commando force — known as Unit 2245 — which captured Russian drones and communications gear so that CIA technicians could reverse-engineer them and crack Moscow’s encryption systems. (One officer in the unit was Kyrylo Budanov, now the general leading Ukraine’s military intelligence.)

And the CIA also helped train a new generation of Ukrainian spies who operated inside Russia, across Europe, and in Cuba and other places where the Russians have a large presence.

Ukraine transformed into an “intelligence-gathering hub”

The US intelligence network in Ukraine (which is tantamount to NATO intelligence network too) has in reality been more extensive than pretty much all prior media speculation has envisioned. Ukraine has long been a massive “intelligence gathering hub” for Washington and its partners:

In more than 200 interviews, current and former officials in Ukraine, the United States and Europe described a partnership that nearly foundered from mutual distrust before it steadily expanded, turning Ukraine into an intelligence-gathering hub that intercepted more Russian communications than the CIA station in Kyiv, Ukraine, could initially handle. Many of the officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence and matters of sensitive diplomacy.

Now these intelligence networks are more important than ever, as Russia is on the offensive and Ukraine is more dependent on sabotage and long-range missile strikes that require spies far behind enemy lines. And they are increasingly at risk: If Republicans in Congress end military funding to Kyiv, the CIA may have to scale back.

Huge NYT admission that Putin was basically right

Below is a hugely ironic excerpt from the Times report. The section begins by noting that Putin has repeatedly blamed the US-NATO for expanding its military and intelligence infrastructure into Ukraine. Not only had this precisely been going on for the past decade, as is now being admitted, but was presented by the Kremlin as a key cause of the Russian invasion of Feb.24, 2022. Putin and his officials were adamant on the eve of the invasion that NATO was militarizing Ukraine. The Times appears to now fully admit that, yes – this was actually the case:

Putin has long blamed Western intelligence agencies for manipulating Kyiv and sowing anti-Russia sentiment in Ukraine.

Toward the end of 2021, according to a senior European official, Putin was weighing whether to launch his full-scale invasion when he met with the head of one of Russia’s main spy services, who told him that the CIA, together with Britain’s MI6, were controlling Ukraine and turning it into a beachhead for operations against Moscow.

U.S. officials were often reluctant to fully engage, fearing that Ukrainian officials could not be trusted, and worrying about provoking the Kremlin.Yet a tight circle of Ukrainian intelligence officials assiduously courted the CIA and gradually made themselves vital to the Americans. In 2015, Gen. Valeriy Kondratiuk, then Ukraine’s head of military intelligence, arrived at a meeting with the CIA’s deputy station chief and without warning handed over a stack of top-secret files.

2014 Coup… and Crimea

The report indirectly references this very critical period which set Ukraine and Russian on their tragic collision course:

With violence escalating, an unmarked U.S. government plane touched down at an airport in Kyiv carrying John Brennan, then the director of the CIA. He told Nalyvaichenko that the CIA was interested in developing a relationship but only at a pace the agency was comfortable with, according to U.S. and Ukrainian officials.

To the CIA, the unknown question was how long Nalyvaichenko and the pro-Western government would be around. The CIA had been burned before in Ukraine.

…The result was a delicate balancing act. The CIA was supposed to strengthen Ukraine’s intelligence agencies without provoking the Russians. The red lines were never precisely clear, which created a persistent tension in the partnership.

Operation Goldfish

Money and advanced tech given by the CIA has allowed the Ukrainians to establish eavesdropping operations far beyond what they would otherwise be capable of. All the while, elite commando teams were being trained by the CIA in European cities as part of a program called ‘Operation Goldfish’. The NYT reporting includes a bit of a ‘boast’ of the Ukrainians now being able to hack into Russian military networks:

In the bunker, Dvoretskiy pointed to communications equipment and large computer servers, some of which were financed by the CIA. He said his teams were using the base to hack into the Russian military’s secure communications networks.

“This is the thing that breaks into satellites and decodes secret conversations,” Dvoretskiy told a Times journalist on a tour, adding that they were hacking into spy satellites from China and Belarus, too.

…The CIA began sending equipment in 2016, after the pivotal meeting at Scattergood, Dvoretskiy said, providing encrypted radios and devices for intercepting secret enemy communications.

A stunning admission: “Tiptoeing Around Trump”

Among the most interesting and curious moments of the NYT report is a description of the CIA program’s expanse under the Trump administration. The report suggests that the true scope may have even been hidden from Trump. The Russian hawks in his administration quietly did the ‘dirty work’, we are told:

The election of Trump in November 2016 put the Ukrainians and their CIA partners on edge.

Trump praised Putin and dismissed Russia’s role in election interference. He was suspicious of Ukraine and later tried to pressure its president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to investigate his Democratic rival, Biden, resulting in Trump’s first impeachment.

The report then emphasizes, “But whatever Trump said and did, his administration often went in the other direction. This is because Trump had put Russia hawks in key positions, including Mike Pompeo as CIA director and John Bolton as national security adviser.”

And further, “They visited Kyiv to underline their full support for the secret partnership, which expanded to include more specialized training programs and the building of additional secret bases.” Given the attempt to place Trump in a negative light (he had to be ‘tiptoed around’…), it will be interesting to see how he and his campaign respond to the report. But more consequential will be the reaction of Putin and the Kremlin in the coming days.


February 26, 2024 | 18 Comments »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

Leave a Reply

18 Comments / 18 Comments

  1. More From Mike Benz:

    Here it is. This is the key paragraph from the NYT CIA Ukraine piece that reveals, explicitly, why the CIA hand-selected the NYT to publish highly classified intelligence & invited hand-selected NYT journalists onto a secret CIA base:

    It was to pressure Republicans in Congress:
    Now these intelligence networks are more important than ever, as Russia is on the offensive and Ukraine is more dependent on sabotage and long-distance missile strikes that require spies far behind enemy lines and they are increasingly at risk: If Republicans in Congress end military funding to Kyiv, the CIA may have to scale back.

    I hope everyone appreciates what this means. The CIA disclosed highly classified intelligence to hand-picked journos in order to fight a PR war against Republicans in Congress who want to scale back Ukraine war funding.

    The CIA is literally unleashed on Republicans in Congress.

  2. From Mike Benz:

    3 Key Points from my Fox News radio hit this morning with @DrewSteeleRadio
    on the CIA, Ukraine & the New York Times:

    1. “The CIA invited the New York Times in.” They specifically say in the NYT article that many of the NYT’s 200-some interviews were done inside the physical building of one the 12 secret CIA bases in Eastern Ukraine — which means this wasn’t a scoop, it was an invitation & base tour from the CIA invited them in for the express purpose of getting that piece published.

    2. “This is a dirty trick by our Central Intelligence Agency to use the New York Times as its own personal mouthpiece, to protect its own personal piggy bank.” This is the selective leaking of intelligence just to get short-term funding. The key paragraph in the NYT piece gives away the game that the bases are all praying for more funding. The whole article is about how important these CIA bases have become and what catastrophe will befall them if Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson vetoes the hotly contested new Ukraine funding bill.

    3. The NYT article reveals those CIA bases are not just defensive — they are for offensive scouting of targets to hit within Russia proper. That’s not defending Americans or even Ukrainians: long range missiles are for killing Russians. Beyond such offensive operations not being mission critical, they’re a provocation to war. And they were set up **years before** 2022.

  3. @ketzel2 Yes and No. Russia is not the Soviet Union but if you conflate the two, you might as well include Ukraine because the Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union. It was never a separate country at any time before the fall of the Soviet Union. And I might add that Ukrainian nationalists have always been among the most ubiquitous and deadliest of Russian antisemites going back to Chelminski and forward through the pogroms of the early 19th century, the Russian Civil war at the end of WWI, and the Shoah. No accident Zionism flourished there. Jabotinsky, Golda Meir were born there,

    Interesting. Odessa was taken from the Ottoman Empire by Catherine the Great and was a Russian city, as I just learned in this otherwise somewhat informative pro-Zelensky puff piece. Incidentally, Zelensky comes from a Russian speaking family.

  4. Who invented the Palestinian people, Ukraine?

    As for this codependent nonsense about they only want to get their life together and make it as a hip hop artist, please. Someone’s state of mind only matters to an American jury, it shouldn’t matter to people at war.

    The Nazis had their reasons, too, but personally I don’t care, I’m not Pat Buchanan or Scott Ritter.

  5. @Sebastien
    Very well explained.

    There was always a concern that if the world returned to a multi-polar construct, with the US on one side and Russia on the other, that Israel’s security would very much be under threat. With the historical connection between Israel and the US and Russia and the Arabs, the potential for the Middle East to become the next sand box in which the great powers might push their unresolved issues was quite high.

    Fortunately, or unfortunately, the pin which holds this Gordian Knot in place is actually forcing Russia into the corner where she now finds herself, allied and dependent upon China and Iran as she is, which only serves the interests of China and Iran. Removing that pin by ending the isolation and war brought against Russia will allow the knot to fall apart, and many interests would simultaneously be served all at once, but not those of the nutty Neocons who only want to see Russia defeated, no matter the cost, no matter the downside, which is the only reason why we actually find ourselves in this quagmire in the first place.

  6. @ketzel2 Yes, it could and does but Russia, unlike Iran and Hamas, is only looking out for its own self-interest and we’ve steadily backed Russia into a corner for more than 30 years! It has no inherent animosity towards Israel, Jews, or even the United States. But,

    “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” (Luke 23; John 18-19)
    (Wow, that’s a Christian thing? Hilarious. doesn’t sound very turn the other cheekish, does it? 😀 )
    “We have no eternal friends and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual and it is those interests we must follow” – Lord Palmerston

    An accommodation with Russia could take it off the board.
    I just thought of a new word to describe it. Tell me what you think and whether it should be in the dictionary.


    Incidentally, you said you love Russian culture. Well, I love Ukrainian food (especially pierogis and Ukrainian cabbage borscht; I don’t like Russian borscht because I hate beets) and I loved the first season of “Servant of the People” which was first class satire and great music, too, and the show that propelled Zelensky to the Presidency, which I saw on Netflix, so there we have it. 😀 Unfortunately, politics doesn’t always cooperate with tastebuds.

  7. It’s the blog of one of the people in the video of the German peace general. An ex Soviet scientist who worked in the US aerospace industry. He is not the least bit reformed, the blog is current and updated frequently with anti-American black pills straight outta Moscow. I’ve lost interest, it was a worthless video and it’s a worthless blog, I only offered it as Exhibit A to back up what I observed about the worthless video. Not worth another thought.

  8. @ketzel2
    I wasn’t trying to intimidate you, and have no interest in insulting you, so accept my appology. Its an open forum and all voices are relevant. But the relevance of an openly anti-Russian comment on some random blog site has little value to merit beyond the anti-Russian sentiment which many do actually support.

    Regarding the fellow in the Ritter video, he was a member of the Russian military, and after the fall of the Soviet Union and the Russians handing much of their nuclear stockpiles over to the US, there was a dearth of work for such skilled Russians as the fellow in question (sorry I forgot his name). Meanwhile, the US tried to hire up all the Russian scientists they could to keep them from becoming employed by the likes of some third world nation such as Iran and North Korea. So there was every reason for the fellow in question to be hired by the US aerospace industry, not in spite of him being a Russian scientist but because he was a Russian scientist.

    Also I have no idea what the purpose of the site you shared might have. Just FYI.

  9. @Peloni, here is a link to the blog of one of the people in that neutral peace loving video we watched the other day. Verified Russian cred. The blog is pure anti-American pro Russian propaganda. Why did he immigrate here, why was he allowed to work in the aerospace industry?

    Racism against Russians? Moi? I love Russian culture and have been so disappointed in them recently. I studied Russian in high school. If not for Covid, I would have gone to Russia, as a guest of my Russian friends who lived in Bulgaria, where I lived for a year. Please, wash out your mouth with soap. You will not intimidate me with verbiage and slurs.

  10. @ketzel2

    Does anyone here have an interest in what Russia is doing in the USA, or should we only focus on this story?

    Actually, this is a pretty big story, particularly as it is coming from the NYT which, while it suffers from inaccuracy and bias, the inaccuracies always benefit the interest of the Deep State which is the source of the bias preferred by the so called Paper of Record. Given that this is the case, the report of the CIA having multiple bases across Ukraine should be seen as a statement against interest. While not difinitive, the fact that this is so would speak to the value of this report.

    Regarding your attribution of some random blogger claiming that some Russians work in the Aerospace industry, I really don’t know how we might assess such a claim, which is why I was content to not respond. We don’t know if any facet of the claim is true, much less anything about the person who is making this claim.

    Even presuming this anti-Russian rant were not just part of the anti-Russan sentiment which I cited to you previously, there are many things which might be questioned. Were these Russians actually American citizens of Russian heritage? If so, this would fall under the dual loyalty canard which is utilized against American Jews, and I would find it to be just as obnoxious and unmerited as I would the claim that an American Jew in the Pentagon should not be trusted because he is supportive of Bibi.

    I seriously doubt that the Russians in question were actually Russian citizens, but they might have been ethnic Russians from Ukraine, or from Moldova, or Estonia… Do you not see the racial bias which you are pressing here? I mean you no ill reproach, but this comment is just a comment on a blog site, where anyone could make any fantastic and false claim imaginable. We Jews are well aware of such tactics, and I would not partake in the fantasies of an errant blog as meriting a meaningful conversation, which again was why I did not respond to your comment yesterday. There just isn’t much to discuss about it.

  11. Does anyone here have an interest in what Russia is doing in the USA, or should we only focus on this story? The Russian operative we discussed yesterday who worked in the American aerospace industry is of little interest here, despite the fact that I also posted a comment I found easily, from an American in the aerospace industry who suspected his eight Russian colleagues of being spies. Crickets.

    TBH, I doubt these revelations about the CIA in Ukraine matter in the least. It’s the new Ukrainian Nazis! Biolabs! Stolen borscht recipes!

  12. We also need to keep in mind that the New York Times is not the most accurate
    and reliable source of information about Europe and everts there. And it becomes
    i inaccurate when reporting on alleged atrocities in the Middle and Far East.


    I was just about to post a cooment sbout this story and provide a link to it. But Ted and others at Israpundit have beaten me to the punch.

    I also wish to point out that the article states that the intelligence service of Ukraine has preserved its indpendence from the CIA, and does not share with them everything it does to protect its own iindependence. In this way it avoids an open confrontation with the U.S., even as declines to fully cooperate with the CIA.