CIA Has Operated Bases In Ukraine For 10 Years

The United States has operated 12 CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) bases along the Ukraine border with Russia since 2014, according to a New York Times article published on February 24. The 12 CIA bases assist Ukraine with intelligence-gathering, communications, and military targeting.

The partnership between the CIA and the Ukraine Security Service started in February 2014. The CIA sought an opportunity within Ukraine but made it clear that it would not be involved in any lethal operations. This policy changed two years ago when Russia invaded Ukraine, and the CIA was allowed to support lethal operations against Russia.

The CIA’s information stream has proven critical to Ukraine’s defense. The CIA alerted Ukrainian forces about imminent attacks on six cities and also warned of an assassination attempt against President Zelenskyy. An unnamed U.S. official stated that while the CIA is not pulling the trigger, they are assisting with targeting.

The potential implications are many. The Quincy Institute, a self-described “transpartisan” think tank on foreign affairs highlights some of the problems with CIA bases on Russia’s border.

Before 2014, Russia declared that it would not allow Ukraine to become a forward operating base for the U.S. and NATO. The Kremlin said it would take drastic action to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO. Russia objects to NATO troops and intelligence services on their western border. Ukraine did not need to join NATO for this to happen, but only needed to cooperate with the U.S. to put intelligence assets close to Russia.

The revelation of 12 CIA bases along the Russian border gives credence to Russia’s national security concerns. Russia will treat this as a provocation and could intensify the war. In recent weeks, Russia has gained military advantages in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine.

Russia’s population advantage over Ukraine is 144 million to 34 million. Russia can outlast Ukraine in a war of attrition, and the Kremlin’s resolve may be stronger after the collusion between the U.S. and Ukraine.

The Quincy Institute goes on to say that whatever the intent of the CIA, it will not de-escalate the war.