U.S. Military Passes Key Information to Ukraine That May Overthrow Russia | FRIDAY DIGITAL

U.S. Military Passes Key Information to Ukraine That May Overthrow Russia

Report by military journalist Buntaro Kuroi

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It was said that Kyiv would fall in a few days. However, two months have passed since the war began, and the situation appears to be even more competitive. What is behind Ukraine’s good performance? Military journalist Buntaro Kuroi analyzes the situation.

This war is being fought both on the ground and under the surface. Every piece of information has meaning and intent. Zelenskyy and Putin, the two leaders, are looking. Photo: AFP/AfroIt has been suggested that behind the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. may have provided strong intelligence support to the Ukrainian military, but the details of this support were kept strictly under wraps, and the specifics were unknown. However, on April 27, NBC television in the U.S. reported a piece of information from current and former high-ranking officials of the U.S. authorities.

 Russian forces were attacking empty facilities.

The main reason for the Russian military’s struggles in the first place was its failure to destroy Ukrainian air defense systems and aircraft immediately after the war began, and its failure to secure air superiority, which prevented large-scale airstrikes by air force aircraft. According to NBC, the Ukrainian military was able to hide its air defense systems and aircraft because the U.S. military was able to detect when and where Russian missiles and airstrikes would be aimed.

The Ukrainian military, with the assistance of U.S. intelligence, continued to move air defense systems and aircraft almost daily, and Russian forces often attacked empty facilities after relocation, according to the report.

U.S.-Ukrainian military and intelligence cooperation have been ongoing since the 2014 invasion of Crimea. A few weeks before the latest Russian military invasion on February 24, 2022, a U.S. military task force examined Ukrainian military air defense systems and advised effective ways to avoid attacks.


On the other hand, the U.S. military also provided the Ukrainian military with real-time information on the location of Russian troops. This enabled the Ukrainian military to effectively attack the Russian forces. Initially, the U.S. military authorities explained to U.S. media outlets that they provided information to the Ukrainian military for general awareness of Russian forces but did not provide direct targeting information.

Supporting Ukrainian Military Security

Furthermore, the CIA has been providing significant assistance in protecting President Zelenskyy from Russia, providing him with guidance on how to travel safely.

The most important information the U.S. is providing to the Ukrainian side is real-time information about Russian military operations. Of course, how it is obtained is a military secret.

The U.S. authorities do not leak details of ongoing undercover operations to the media. Listed are some of the specific cooperation that is taking place and some of my speculations.


 (1) Provision of Russian military location information based on detailed image data

The U.S. military flies many of the world’s most powerful reconnaissance satellites. Since these satellites pass overhead in about 90 seconds, it is not possible to conduct continuous reconnaissance by video recording, but by adjusting the orbits of each satellite, it is possible to take images every few hours. The resolution is as high as a few centimeters, from which the deployment of Russian forces is analyzed, probably not as raw data but as processed data, and provided to the Ukrainian military.

The U.S. military also probably conducts reconnaissance over a much wider area with drones such as the Global Hawk, and information from that source is also provided.

On April 25, Director Sharp of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), the U.S. military intelligence agency, said at a Denver relations conference, “We were a major part of Western support for Ukraine’s defense of Kyiv.” According to him, the NGA has helped Ukraine obtain and use a variety of commercial satellite imagery, perhaps not limited to commercial satellites.

This imagery information was integrated and analyzed in the U.S. European Command’s Joint Intelligence Operations Center Analysis Center (based in Molesworth, England) will be provided to the Ukrainian authorities through the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which oversees the center, either through U.S. military channels or CIA channels.


 (ii) Provision of high-performance reconnaissance drone systems?

NGA Director Sharp, mentioned above, said one interesting thing in the context of support for Ukraine. Although he did not explicitly mention Ukraine, he did say that in March he sent personnel to the U.S. European Command to train military partners in the Aerial Reconnaissance Tactical Edge Mapping Imaging System (ARTEMIS), which uses small, high-performance unmanned aerial vehicles. The U.S. and European forces have trained their military partners in ARTEMIS, which uses small, sophisticated drones. If this was utilized in the Ukrainian military’s operations, it would have been very effective.

 (iii) Radar Information Capturing Russian Air Force Movements

As mentioned above, the Ukrainian military was able to evade and survive the Russian air defense network overrun (SEAD) by the U.S. military thanks to the intelligence provided by the U.S. military. As for that information on the Russian military, the information from NATO’s early warning and control aircraft (AWACS) is probably the most important one regarding Russian air force aircraft.

NATO operates 14 E-3 early warning and control aircraft at its Geilenkirchen base in western Germany, which regularly fly over Poland to monitor the movements of Russian aircraft.

 4) Radio Interception and Deciphering Communications

The U.S. military intercepts various radio signals from the Russian military using the aforementioned early warning and control aircraft, unmanned surveillance aircraft, various reconnaissance aircraft, and surveillance satellites placed in high-altitude geostationary orbit. It analyzes military radio signals to probe the activities of the Russian military, and it also decrypts communications to probe the internal information of the Russian military.

The National Security Agency (NSA) of the Pentagon oversees such signals intelligence collection and analysis. The NSA may have obtained information on Russian military operations from such information.

 (5) Hacking

The NSA is also one of the world’s top hacker groups. If they can gain top-secret access to the inside of the Russian government or the Russian military, they can learn the enemy’s entire game. The author speculates that it is highly likely that the U.S. was able to grasp Russia’s actions in considerable detail this time because of hacking. However, there is absolutely no information leaning toward this. As mentioned above, while some information on intelligence cooperation with Ukraine has been leaked from the U.S. authorities, the fact that there is no information on this is in itself suspicious.

 (6) Avoidance of Cyber Attacks

The fact that the Russian military’s cyber and electronic warfare was extremely weak this time was also a major cause of the Russian military’s difficulties, and the author suspects that this was due to U.S. interference. According to the April 6 edition of The New York Times, for example, the U.S. secretly removed countless pieces of malware that Russia had planted on its network at the beginning of the war.

The specifics of the malware deleted are unknown, but it is likely to have included a significant number of logic bombs that had been planted against Ukraine. Logic bombs are malware that is planted in advance and activated in the event of an emergency. In other words, there is a strong possibility that the U.S. prevented a Russian cyber attack.

The NSA is also responsible for such operations, but there is a strong possibility that the NSA, on the contrary, pretended to be the Ukrainian military or led the Ukrainian military to secretly launch cyber attacks on the Russian military side and damage the Russian military network.

 (vii) Support for StarLink operations

This time, the Ukrainian side organized a reconnaissance unit of civilian drones from an early stage, which had a tremendous effect on targeting the location of the Russian military. However, it is unclear whether the Ukrainians knew from the outset that the civilian drones could be used against the Russian military. Perhaps they were informed in advance by the U.S. that they would interfere with the Russian military’s electronic warfare.

In addition, the Starlink satellite internet link provided by SpaceX after the war began, played a decisive role in the stable sharing of information by drones by the Ukrainian military. Although much attention has been focused on the exchange between SpaceX’s Elon Musk and Ukraine’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Reform Mikhail Fedorov, it is likely that the U.S. intelligence community provided behind-the-scenes support for the introduction of the Starlink satellite internet connection, as numerous satellite communication transmitters and receivers were distributed in a short period of time. Thus, the U.S. is believed to have provided considerable behind-the-scenes support. However, the details are still a military secret, and the whole picture will not be revealed until after the war.

  • Reporting and writing KUROI Fumitaro Photo: AFP/Afro AFP/Afro

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