Listen to a reading of this article:

The New York Times reports that Ukraine is crawling with special forces and spies from the US and its allies, which would seem to contradict earlier reports that the US intelligence cartel is having trouble getting intel about what’s happening on the ground in Ukraine.

This would also, obviously, put the final nail in the coffin of the claim that this is not a US proxy war.

In an article titled “Commando Network Coordinates Flow of Weapons in Ukraine, Officials Say,” anonymous western officials inform us of the following through their stenographers at The New York Times:

As Russian troops press ahead with a grinding campaign to seize eastern Ukraine, the nation’s ability to resist the onslaught depends more than ever on help from the United States and its allies — including a stealthy network of commandos and spies rushing to provide weapons, intelligence and training, according to U.S. and European officials.


Much of this work happens outside Ukraine, at bases in Germany, France and Britain, for example. But even as the Biden administration has declared it will not deploy American troops to Ukraine, some C.I.A. personnel have continued to operate in the country secretly, mostly in the capital, Kyiv, directing much of the massive amounts of intelligence the United States is sharing with Ukrainian forces, according to current and former officials.


At the same time, a few dozen commandos from other NATO countries, including Britain, France, Canada and Lithuania, also have been working inside Ukraine.

The revelation that the CIA and US special forces are conducting military operations in Ukraine does indeed make a lie of the Biden administration’s insistence at the start of the war that there would be no American boots on the ground in Ukraine, and the admission that NATO powers are so involved in operations against a nuclear superpower means we are closer to seeing a nuclear exchange than anyone should be comfortable with.

This news should surprise no one who knows anything about the usual behavior of the US intelligence cartel, but interestingly it contradicts something we were told by the same New York Times not three weeks ago.

“American intelligence agencies have less information than they would like about Ukraine’s operations and possess a far better picture of Russia’s military, its planned operations and its successes and failures,” NYT told us earlier this month. “U.S. officials said the Ukrainian government gave them few classified briefings or details about their operational plans, and Ukrainian officials acknowledged that they did not tell the Americans everything.”

It seems a bit unlikely that US intelligence agencies would have a hard time getting information about what’s happening in a country where they themselves are physically located. Moon of Alabama theorized at the time that this ridiculous “We don’t know what’s happening in our own proxy war” line was being pushed to give the US plausible deniability about Ukraine’s failures on the battlefield, which have only gotten worse since then.

So why are they telling us all this now? Well, it could be that we’re being paced into accepting an increasingly direct role of the US and its allies in Ukraine.

The other day Antiwar’s Daniel Larison tweeted, “Hawks in April: Don’t call it a proxy war! Hawks in May: Of course it’s a proxy war! Hawks in June: It’s not their war, it’s our war!”

This is indeed exactly how it happened. Back in April President Biden told the press the idea that this is a proxy war between the US and Russia was “not true” and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said “It’s not, this is clearly Ukraine’s fight” when asked if this is a proxy war. The mainstream media were still framing this claim as merely an “accusation” by the Russian government, and empire spinmeisters were regularly admonishing anyone who used that term on the grounds that it deprives Ukrainians of their “agency”.

Then May rolled around and all of a sudden we had The New Yorker unequivocally telling us that the US is in “a full proxy war with Russia” and hawks like US congressman Seth Moulton saying things like, “We’re not just at war to support the Ukrainians. We’re fundamentally at war, although somewhat through a proxy, with Russia, and it’s important that we win.”

And now here in June we’ve got war hawks like Max Boot coming right out and saying that this is actually America’s war, and it is therefore important for the US to drastically escalate the war in order to hand the Russians “devastating losses”.

So the previously unthinkable idea that the US is at war with Russia has been gradually normalized, with the heat turned up so slowly that the frog doesn’t notice it’s being boiled alive. If that idea can be sufficiently normalized, public consent for greater escalations will likely be forthcoming, even if those escalations are extremely psychotic.

Back in March when I said the only “agency” Ukraine has in this conflict is the Central Intelligence kind, empire loyalists jumped down my throat. They couldn’t believe I was saying something so evil and wrong. Now they’ve been told that the Central Intelligence Agency is indeed conducting operations and directing intelligence on the ground in Ukraine, but I somehow doubt that this will stir any self-reflection on their part.


My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on FacebookTwitterSoundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. All works co-authored with my American husband Tim Foley.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Liked it? Take a second to support Caitlin Johnstone on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

59 responses to “Western Officials Admit Ukraine Is Crawling With CIA Personnel”

  1. They’re just a bunch of nice Mormon boys consulting our Ukrainian brethren.

  2. Ive been reading about Kiev “crawling” with CIA personnel (an apt turn of of phrase) in Russian sources for a few years now…They work hand in hand with the Ukrainian SBU, “providing intelligence” ( LOL) and overseeing the torture of dissidents or “suspected dissidents” or whatever ..But don’t worry about that because he Russians know where they are..they know all their names, they know what buildings they go to work in every day, and the cars they drive and their license plate numbers -the SBU is deeply infiltrated by the Russian FSB. Have you noticed that whenever the west threatens to escalate, Putin, or Peskov or Medvedev speaking for him says “we will hit the decision making centers” if our western colleagues follow through with this or that threat…? And then they have to walk back whatever Biden or boJo said ?..thats what the Russians are talking about..they will vaporize, with cruise missiles all of the CIA, MI5 and NATO millitary personell running the war for Kiev

  3. Us Forces in Ukraine? At last, an end in sight.
    I’m making this assumption on the fact that the last war fought and won by the US, was the Civil War – where they fought on both sides.
    All other US wars have been spectacular losses in men and materiel, although Hollywood did a few makeovers with WWII.
    All that has to happen to guarantee victory for the Russians is to dress their troops in rubber sandals and baggy pyjamas, a la Viet Minh or the Taliban. As stated in a past ‘reply’, the US military is giving ‘fiasco’ a bad name.
    The more US troops the faster war will end – is my estimation.

    1. ” … the US military is giving ‘fiasco’ a bad name.”
      Lmao … Yeah it is.
      Fighting a make believe war, against what is increasing clear is the world’s most efficient and professional army, is not the stuff of glorious victory.
      And the CIA can run around all it wants in Ukraine and it won’t make a damn bit of difference.
      He who controls the skies wins, and if he who controls the skies controls them completely, then he wins easily and at the pace of his choosing.
      Which in this case, seems to be quite leisurely.
      I think this is the 10th video I’ve watched of those “evil and diabolical” Russians interrupting their attacks on pre-schools, nursury schools, kindergartens, hospitals, nursing homes, and anywhere else where either the very young or the very old tend to congregate, to rescue a puppy in need.
      Rule Number One of War: When you have the time, and the resources, to give succor to the enemy’s abandoned pets, you have total dominance in the theater.

  4. Well technically having CIA running all over Ukraine is not really boots on the ground because as we all know those agents wear suits and ties and carry laptops. Also, all those agents running around info gathering and at the same time having no idea what is going on wirh either Ukrainians or Russians is not necessarily a contradiction given who is doing the info gathering.

  5. I think the CIA should be renamed, people working there cannot in any way be called intelligent. It should be called “Central Agency for Evil”, with the motto “Making Devil Feel Like Amateur”.

  6. I read somewhere that Nobel believed that the invention of dynamite would make war so horrible that war would no longer be used to resolve differences.

    Thus the Nobel Peace Prize.

    He was wrong.

    Maybe the Oppenheimer Peace Prize would be more appropriate, because The Bomb has kept a lid on the the boiling pot where WWIII has been threatening to boil over since 1945.

    Einstein said that he didn’t know with what weapons WWIII would be fought, but WWWIV will be fought with sticks and stones.

    So maybe no more wars, or maybe only one more.

    1. WWIV

      I lost count of the Ws.

      1. WWIV is ok, I see it as WW-IV. Maybe we could skip WWIII with its danger of nuclear weapons as a sort of accident. Nah – didn’t happen.. went too far too fast.. under the carpet… let’s start afresh.

    2. Ted Christian Avatar
      Ted Christian

      When poison gas and biological weapons threatened to make wars too terrible to fight they outlawed those. If nukes are outlawed before they destroy civilization we can get down to business and stop messing around with this proxy shit and have some real wars again, hoo ha &tc.

      1. BB Benderhaus Avatar
        BB Benderhaus

        Do you really believe chemical and biological weapons have been irradicated because they were outlawed. Nukes would be the same. Never acknowledged but always available.

        1. The Exceptional Nation (the USA) takes exception to personal land mines despite their being illegal.

          Don’t hold your breathe waiting for the nation that believes it IS the law, to follow the laws of nations.

        2. Ted Christian Avatar
          Ted Christian

          Clever high school students could probably make crude chemical and biological weapons in their parents’ basement, but at least the major powers don’t have massive stockpiles anymore. Nukes are trickier to make and couldn’t be surreptitiously fielded in apocalyptic numbers. Humanity just needs to bring the politicians to heel.

          1. The US has 330 bioligical labs worldwide for supposed humanitarian research. They tell us chemical and biological weapons are banned. Do you really believe that. Nukes are the exact same way. Missles can be outfitted today with nukes or conventional armaments. Suitcase nukes exist. The US just wants plausible deniability. Drop a nuke, chemical weapon or biological virus then blame it on the other guy. Covid is an excellent example. The trail leading back yo the US military from Wuhan is easy to follow if anyone bothers to look. The CDC and NIH ties are all over it too. No one cares.

  7. The US is being cowardly by not coming out and declare war against Russia. Since the Angolan and Afghanistan conflicts of the 70’s and 80’s it has always been clear that the US won’t engage Russia on the battlefield openly. What’s comforting though about this conflict is the fact that Uncle Sam is on the floor in the ring with a bloody nose once more even though he never learns. Russia must be serious about the job now that it is confirmed who the adversary is.

    1. Backing off from Mutually Assured Destruction is not cowardly.

      1. Ted Christian Avatar
        Ted Christian

        It’d be MAD not to.

    2. Oh yes, declaring war against Russia is a brilliant idea. Stop fooling around and just start the nuclear war now. You should get a job in the Washington establishment. You could say such foolish things, e.g. by writing in one of the many think tanks which “inform” the neo-cons and actually get paid for it. I had hoped that that kind of foolishness was confined to Washington D.C., but perhaps I am wrong.

      There is only one sensible way to end this US war of aggression – keep pretending that Ukraine and its Hollywood pretend “leader” actually have agency, tell them to accede to the very reasonable conditions which Russia has been offering for eight years, including denazification and demilitarization of the Country, install a truly neutral government and leave the Country the hell alone. I doubt that the US has anyone in leadership with enough sense to do that, but I guess we can hope. The dumbest thing it can possibly do is declare war on Russia. However, there is an excellent chance that the US will manage to start a nuclear war without doing so.

  8. Ted Christian Avatar
    Ted Christian

    When has the US government ever not lied about war, and what proxy war zone ever wasn’t crawling with spooks?

    The Russians have sentenced a number of captured foreign combatants to death, though I don’t think they’ve executed any yet. Facing an influx of them into an active war zone you can see their point, but what’s going to happen when the Russians capture an American, slap a label on him, and stand him against a wall? How’s that going to spin?

    OK, here’s my thought for the day: If I was Putin I would start a Caitlinesque blog, in fact I would make her the coblogger, a position I just now invented, but anyway I would put up a blog talking in the starkest terms I could manage about what was happening in Ukraine and why, and where it might be expected to go, and just throw long and see how much of the BS I could burn through. It would definitely get some traffic, and if nothing else it would be an interesting experiment. In fact, maybe after coffee I’ll email this idea to the Kremlin website. It’s time for action.

  9. US Spooks in Ukraine? What a surprise! The US lied about it? What a surprise! Untold billions of dollars and untold numbers of innocent lives being wasted in service to this latest US war of aggression? What a surprise! Our people struggling to feed, care for and house their families? “Our” government doesn’t care. No surprise there either. Our infrastructure quickly deteriorating to their world status because the money is wasted on the military because, well, the thieves in charge demand it and pay the bribe money to the pols. Business as usual in the “Exceptionalist” US – except, of course, that part about the possibility (probability?) of nuclear war which will kill most of us and make the rest wish for death. It appears that this is a small detail in the eyes of our “great leaders” in Washington. We, of course, count for nothing.

  10. Look look look, there are no American “boots on the ground” in Ukraine, see? All those CIA guys wear shoes with their nice shiny polyester suits, so we’re not lying, right? American “shoes on the ground” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

    1. In this season, it’s more likely they wear… flip-flops :o)

  11. Well, I was worried but yesterday after seeing Putin’s answer to Lukashenko about NATO nuclear weapons drill close to Belarus, I’m not worried anymore. Putin is well aware about the “brilliant” American idea to use small nuclear warheads – according to Putin America deployed about 220 nuclear warheads of this type in Europe – to be used towards Russia. That stupid American idea that someone somehow can win a nuclear war. Russia does not use small nuclear warheads and it already said Russia will not start a nuclear war. But America thinks that doing it first perhaps Biden will have leverage to make a phone call to Putin demanding Russia to surrender. But Russia already said it will not happen such thing because the moment those nuclear warheads start flying towards Russia Putin already said they will launch all nuclear arsenal towards America and allies. I wonder if Bill Kristol or some similar dummy like him is the father of these pearls used in American foreign policy to consolidate what they like to call a “Liberal Empire”. Anyways, I don’t worry. I have plenty of boxed wine, BBQ and cigarettes to watch it from my porch. That’s the way I wanna go.

    1. No, you can’t have boxed wine on Armageddon night! That’s criminal ! I suggest a Chateau Petrus 1989 or 1990.

      1. dude, boxed wine is the enhanced survivor option for the long run. I’m already running out of money 10 days before my next payment. Chateau Petrus is far above my pay grade.

        1. Boxed wine is fine – nice foil bag and all that, radiation proof.
          In Australia we have a nicer term than ‘boxed’ wine – which sounds like its had a few fights beforehand – we call it, in a slightly superior tone, ‘cask wine’.
          Cask as in cardboard which as we know, is a derivative of wood.
          Enjoy the sound and light show – it will be brief.

          1. Cask Wine. I love it! LOL

            1. Yet it’s only virtual wine for a virtual Armageddon. So you pay in virtual dollars :o)

  12. Thank you for the article. It is most alarming that the US govt thinks it can just lie to our faces. I hope what you have written at least usefully outrages some “patriots.”

    1. What’s more alarming is most Americans believe their lies.

  13. That the US government would be able to pace US citizens into accepting a direct war in Ukraine, that might well go nuclear, seems a stretch. But. Caitlin focuses on US foreign policy, but here’s a tidbit non-US citizens might not know. Some years back, three liberal states had initiatives to mandate labeling of food with GMO ingredients, which is law in the EU. In all three states, public opinion supported the initiative at upwards of 90% at the outset. Then Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association etc. poured millions into a PR campaign and the initiative was voted down in all three states. Vermont passed a bill that mandated labeling and refused to withdraw it (Vermont is the state that keeps Bernie Sanders in Congress) so a federal bill was passed overriding Vermont’s law with a saccharine national substitute in which SOME foods had to have a label–but only in the form of a QR code that led to the maker’s website, where if the consumer in the aisles of a grocery store chose, they could sit down on the floor and peruse the site looking for information on whether the item contained GMOs or not. This is like the privacy notices you supposedly read before medical treatment, or the agreements you supposedly sign on to when purchasing software–it’s understood that 0% of people actually read several pages of fine print written by lawyers, yet it’s legally binding. But in the case of the GMO info, there’s no penalty for ignoring the law altogether. Some businesses, drug companies and banks, violate laws routinely and pay hundreds of millions in fines, because that’s less than the profits they make by violating the law. But my point is that you can take an issue with public opinion overwhelmingly on one side, and after application of a PR campaign, get people to endorse–I figure you could legalize pedophilia if you spent enough.

    1. I’d like to think that elsewhere, people think with their own brains and aren’t as malleable. but I doubt it. Caitlin says Americans are the most propagandized people in the world and i figure she’s right.

      1. And what does a post like this one, preaching to the choir what they already know, do to make a dent in this problem? Free speech in a silo means little, does nothing to break the status quo. What we need are proposals and calls for concrete actions to oppose the system, not endless descriptions of how evil the system is, descriptions provided to those who already know it. It’s all become so tiresome, substituting bitching for acting or at least envisioning possible courses of action. At what point does even prophetic speech become cheap? This is not about Caitlin but about us.

        1. By ‘us’, do you mean her readers? The choir. Caitlin has a paying job. It’s a cool gig, combining reporting and opinion from her home. I’m glad she gets to do it. However, her readers will never make a dent in US foreign policy. Declining material conditions ultimately will. Already, the world is beginning to move away from the US dollar. Domestically, the christian fascists are waiting in the wings, so don’t hold your breath for a mass raising of consciousness. Then again, OWS was a surprise in ’12. Shit can happen.

      2. Newton said:
        “What we need are proposals and calls for concrete actions to oppose the system, not endless descriptions of how evil the system is, descriptions provided to those who already know it.”
        Exactly WHAT “concrete actions to oppose the system” do you call for, Newton? Now’s your opportunity to make that call, but the question is, “what good is a phone call if you’re (so brainwashed that you’re) unable to speak?”

        1. I suggested we focus our thinking and conversing on concrete steps that might be taken to bring about a better world. As this year dawned, Caitlin herself promised to engage in such envisioning and exploring. You’ve long advocated, along the lines of Jimmy Dore, a mass refusal to vote for any R or D. OK, I get that, but the question then becomes how to build such a mass movement. Sure as hell, shouting this message to those already in the politically alienated silo ain’t gonna make it. None of us has s good answer at this point, which is precisely the reason we should be tocusing on it, so that answers, if any, might emerge. Of course, it’s much easier to join the bitch-fest, which I do as much as anyone.

          1. The only thing that can change anything is the wind of history or karma. Then people rise pushed by it. Thinking anyone can change the world is pure arrogant madness. It’s like getting on a windsurf board with no wind and thinking you’ll cross the lake.
            However bitching can bring about the awareness that the wind of history needs to rise and blow.

            1. Life has taught me the opposite. I’m a fervent believer in big ideas and bold leadership. Without them nothing happens, nothing works. To turn your back on these ideas/ideals is to endure history rather than make it. Which is exactly what we’ve been doing, enduring history, since the days of JFK, RFK, MLK, and Malcolm. Fuck waiting for the wind to rise when the rising is on us.

        2. “Rise” and do just exactly WHAT, is the question.

          1. Change the world! Previous attempts by “bold leadership” have generally not ended well though if we don’t consider hanging upside down from the roof of a gas station or committing suicide in a bunker enviable “finales” :o)

            1. Don’t you realize that to allow ourselves to become demoralized, to become relegated to endlessly bitching about evil, is exactly what our overlords want? Taking the red pill is meaningless, perhaps even self-defeating, if it leads only to conversation, however truthful, within the red pill silo. The lie we tell ourselves is that we’ll be heard outside its walls.

  14. Thank you, Caitlin, for your determination and stamina at bringing this stuff to the foreground.. That NYT article contains a lot of information and a lot of it is written between the lines. It puts the US direct involvement (advice and training) at about the level it was at in Vietnam circa 1960.
    I think the article can be read as a message to the US public that our direct involvement is escalating, and also as a message to Russia that the US is willing to risk even more direct involvement.
    I would prefer to see an NYT article discussing how much territory the US believes Ukraine ought to be willing to yield to settle the conflict by negotiation. But the US seems to be moving in the opposite direction.

  15. Spies have been part of every war whether economic, political or military long before the CIA or even tge United States existed. Wherever there is conflict, the CIA or equivalent spies will be there. Even ancient kings had spy networks.

    1. Some are more appealing than others though. I must admit I have a soft spot for Mata-Hari.

  16. Surprise of surprises, this is the approximately 17,500th time we’ve been lied to on a daily basis since the close of the US invasion of Vietnam, and still we haven’t got the message???

    1. Oh, they lied in all wars before Vietnam. It just started becoming more obvious.

      1. But fortunately, there’s always new generations who only know of history what they’ve been taught at school (i.e. the victors’ version), who think their government will change the world because they’re the good guys (TM) and who will even enlist if push comes to shove – even after seeing Platoon, Apocalypse Now or Soldier Blue which are only movies after all. And the beat goes on… :o)

  17. “The only “agency” Ukraine has in this conflict is the Central Intelligence kind”.
    I propose the creation of an Oscar Wilde Prize and entering this line in the competition :o)

    1. Ted Christian Avatar
      Ted Christian

      Second. And the prize needs a Wildesque name.

      1. The importance of being funniest?

        1. Ted Christian Avatar
          Ted Christian

          I hear what you’re saying ….

  18. Surely Russia must have even more undercover agents functioning in Kiev and elsewhere throughout Ukraine. Moreover, they have the advantage of being able to pass more easily as natives. I suspect there must be a regular Spy-vs-Spy game within the game going on. I’m sure the casualties of that conflict are not being shared with the American people via the NYT or WaPo. With the long duration of this de-facto hybrid war, I would hope the Russians have long ago wired critical facilities in Kiev and Ukie military bases for destruction and demolition when most opportune. They surely must have planted homing beacons to guide the thermobaric warheads on hypersonic missiles into the Ukie HQ and receiving docks for all the Nato weapons pouring in with their secret agents. The CIA should be grateful: no messy bodies in bags to ship back to the states while hiding them from the public when all the biomatter is reduced component molecules. In any case, American blood is going to have to be spilled pretty soon if Uncle Sam keeps being an active belligerent whilst claiming innocence.

    1. But the American ‘_resident’ vowed America would have “no boots on the ground” in a war which is NOT an American war!

      1. Right. And the whole world knows they lie about everything. Always assume the opposite, and probably the worst, when responding to sworn Yankee promises. “Honesty” and “integrity” are NOT in the American lexicon. Everyone in this great exceptional country learns this at an early age but dares never admit it. You are considered a “sucker” if you do not lie, cheat and steal to get whatever you want in this beneficent and bountiful utopia, protector of all rights and defender of all that is good and moral in the entire world.

  19. I don’t think it’s doing them much good. Vietnam was crawling with CIA personnel, it didn’t change the outcome.

  20. Just how much more of this crap are we supposed to take? lies,lies and more fu….. lies, what a day it will be when this all comes to light, if it ever does and to consider the mess our countries are in as well .

  21. I feel sorry for what the CIA is doing to Ukraine.

    1. And to what they did to the Viet Namese, Iraqis, Afganastans, Quatamalans, Venezualins, Chilians, Libyans, and what they are doing to the Syrians — ad Infinitum.

      1. Ted Christian Avatar
        Ted Christian

        Salvadorians, Laotians, Cambodians, Somalis, Cubans ….

Leave a Reply