The US government has better information on Russian troops in Ukraine than on Ukrainian forces, The New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing US officials. Kiev is keeping its biggest military sponsor in the dark, possibly even misleading Washington to protect the generous flow of American military aid into the country, the newspaper claimed.
According NYT sources, the Ukrainian government gives the US “few classified briefings or details about their operational plans” while the US intelligence community’s capacity to collect data in Ukraine is limited, because its focus has long been on Russia.
“When it came to the Ukrainians, the United States has worked on building up their intelligence service, not spying on their government,” the report claimed. Intelligence-gathering has been complicated by cloudy weather in Ukraine, limiting the effectiveness of satellites for surveilling Ukrainian troops.
“Ukraine’s secrecy has forced US military and intelligence officials to try and learn what they can from other countries operating in Ukraine, training sessions with Ukrainians and [from Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky’s public comments,” the NYT cited its sources as saying.