Washington [US], January 14 (ANI/Sputnik): The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been overseeing a secret US training program for elite Ukrainian special forces and other intelligence personnel, YahooNews reported Friday, citing five former intelligence and national security officials familiar with the program.
The CIA-curated intensive training program for Ukrainian paramilitaries in an undisclosed facility in the southern United States has been underway since 2015, according to the officials, YahooNews reported. It was established by the Obama administration, expanded under the Trump administration, and further augmented by the Biden administration, a former senior intelligence official told YahooNews.
The US authorities have said the program is not offensively oriented and insisted that the purpose of the training is to assist in the collection of intelligence.
At the same time, a former senior intelligence official told YahooNews the program includes "very specific training on skills" that would enhance Ukraine's "ability to push back against the Russians." Another former CIA official familiar with the program said that "the United States is training an insurgency" and has taught the Ukrainians how "to kill Russians," YahooNews reported.
Tensions around Ukraine intensified over the past several weeks after an alleged Russian troop buildup near the Ukrainian border and claims of preparations for an invasion. Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusations, pointing to NATO's military activity near Russian borders, which it deems a threat to its national security. Russia has also affirmed that it has the right to move forces within its own territory. (ANI/Sputnik)