Caitlin Johnstone: Ukraine Crawling with CIA & Co

The previously unthinkable idea that the U.S. 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.

By Caitlin Johnstone

Listen to a reading of this article.

The New York Times reports that Ukraine is crawling with special forces and spies from the U.S. and its allies, which would seem to contradict earlier reports that the U.S. 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 U.S. proxy war.

In an article headlined “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 C.I.A. and U.S. 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 U.S. 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,” The New York Times  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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 Joe Biden told the press the idea that this is a proxy war between the U.S. 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 U.S. is in “a full proxy war with Russia” and hawks like U.S. Rep. 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 U.S. to drastically escalate it in order to hand the Russians “devastating losses.”

So, the previously unthinkable idea that the U.S. 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 one, 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.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium and Substack. Her work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking out her podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following her on Steemit, throwing some money into her tip jar onPatreon or Paypal, purchasing some of her sweet merchandise, buying her books Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative MatrixRogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone andWoke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

25 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: Ukraine Crawling with CIA & Co

  1. Paine
    June 29, 2022 at 06:35

    Ms. Johnson is so right.

    As President Biden told the American public would be sending military arms to Ukraine but that no American troops would be sent to fight in the Ukraine.

    He omitted to tell the public that he does not consider covert US military personnel as being US troops. Our citizens deserve better from our President and for him level to level with us.

    Just go to a bar and you will hear stories of US military contractors saying that the day after the Ukrainian war started in February, they were called and offered $14,000 per week to go fight the Russians in the Ukraine.

    So much for the US being a nation that follows the Rule of Law as the US Constitution requires. As the US Constitution only provides for the US Congress with the sole power to declare war on another country.

    The mainstream media is complicit in what President has authorized as it has failed to point out that he is violating the U.S. Constitution.

    Nor will we be seeing any US Congressional hearings held on what President Biden covertly sending doing with our military personnel.

    To make matters worse, President Biden is fostering continuing the war over diplomacy, even as Ukraine see’s it’s territory shrink every day.

    And at the same time inflation is rising at home due to sanctions imposed on the Russians, while the Russian economy is flourishing.

    No one is looking out for US being drawn into a possible nuclear war with the Russians, nor the US government protecting American consumers.

    • Realist
      June 29, 2022 at 14:10

      You make it sound as though the US federal government is but some vast conspiracy acting in the interests of people unknown but surely opposed to the interests of most American citizens, not to say most of the world’s “little people” whom they consider dispensable fodder of all sorts. The readership here has become impressively penetrating in its understanding. Thanks for being as clear as glass, Paine.

  2. Abie
    June 28, 2022 at 18:42

    If you want to see what Hollywood used to make of the C – I – A, search Youtub for “M.A.S.H.” and “Col. Flagg” or some variation thereof.

    Hollywood was more interesting back before the military and the CIA got script approval! :)

    From the status of Ukraine today, I’m not sure a modern Army of Col Flagg’s is any more effective than the Hollywood version.

    And there of course is one of my favorite song lyrics off aaaaaaallll-time.
    “You must be working for the See Eye Aye, they wouldn’t have you in the Maf Eye Aye.”
    —‘Why Can’t We Be Friends?’ by War.

    • TrompeL'Oeil
      June 29, 2022 at 15:25


      whose theme song was – Suicide is painless.

  3. Abie
    June 28, 2022 at 18:36

    Stupid Frogs.

    Even a particularly dense frog can tell – even if they don’t notice the temperature going up as it slowly does so – that this water sure is hot! The rate at which it becomes hot doesn’t really matter to the fact of realizing that it is now hot. If you focus on the here and now, then I suppose it helps you to avoid the illusion of time and the slow rate at which it got hot, and then correctly realize that jumping out of this damn pot is the only sane thing to do. The exact same goes for ‘climate change’. Stupid frogs. Stupid monkeys.

    I know Americans are trained to ignore and hate ‘history’ …. but, if you were read some, you will find that America has gotten far, far worse over the last 75 years. Things that were undreamable, are now normal. For instance, I doubt that many Americans would know that DUI roadblocks were once deemed unconstitutional, as it was unconstitutional to just cast a random drag net and catch any unlucky souls who happened to wander in. That was the rule for the first nearly two hundred years of America. Stop-n-frisk wasn’t even considered. And you could travel without constant check points and request to ‘see your papers’. Pre-McCarthy, America didn’t even have lists of countries you could not visit and see for yourself.

    If you look in old newspapers of say the early 90’s, you’ll find personal ads offering to sell one-way plane flights. The airlines charged more for one-way than for round-trip, so people would buy round-trip and then sell the one-way return. It did not matter what name was on the ticket, as the passenger would never have to show ID to board the plane. You didn’t have to give your real name when you bought the ticket, so lists of who was traveling where could not be so easily compiled.

    What was once unthinkable, is now considered normal. Read back and see what America was like not that many decades ago, and you’ll see how America has become less free, the government has more power, and what little democracy there was died in the darkness of a free press becoming instead a corporate profit center.

    Who knows, maybe you’ll even ask “Who turned up the #$@#%! Heat?”, and then possibly realize that “I’m Outta Here” is the only possible answer, like the counter-culture generation once did.

  4. Realist
    June 28, 2022 at 16:27

    Surely Russia must have even more undercover agents functioning in Kiev and elsewhere throughout Ukraine, at least I would hope so! Moreover, they should 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 to component molecules and dispersed with the wind. 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.

    Can you imagine the arrogance, the hubris, it must take for Americans from the opposite side of the Earth to believe that they can waltz into a locality that was an integral part of Russia for nearly a thousand years, where the language is nothing like English and nearly the same as Russian, and take the place over on nothing but promises of great wealth, power, and the ability to commit mass murder of those you hate. Amazing how stupid and petty the Ukies, at least the ones in charge, have to be to go for such an implausible and immoral bargain. Even the hypothetical Devil himself would have a difficult time making good on all that.

  5. TrompeL'Oeil
    June 28, 2022 at 15:09

    “Ukraine Crawling with CIA & Co”

    Perhaps you haven’t considered the adage that – Too many cooks spoil the broth?

    The presently deceased Mr. Brezhnev who was “convinced” that he was an intellectual and the most decorated/jangly when walking “Ukrainian” in history, and so when he wanted to delay decisions he convened the Politburo, and when he didn’t want to make a decision he convened the “Communist Party of the Soviet Union” whose crawling was not restricted to Ukraine.

  6. BB
    June 28, 2022 at 12:46

    I am very grateful to Caitlin for boldly telling the truth that is uncomfortable for the ruling class. It would be great if her fair opinion was heard by as many people as possible.

  7. Alan
    June 28, 2022 at 11:43

    Pity poor Ukraine. Considering the extraordinary level of ineptness in the U.S. military and the CIA, the more “help” we give them, the worse off they will be.

  8. Vincent ANDERSON
    June 28, 2022 at 10:18

    Why not add ‘Hawks in July: Don’t surrender!’ Max Boot needs to understand that the “At least 20 countries [who] are part of this US-led cell” itself “was modeled after a structure used in Afghanistan,” the [NYT] added. Cited by Ben Norton, hxxps://

    Unter Das Boot! A ‘model’ for failure, except of course for the mil/industrial/academic/MSM complex, who have largely won no matter who else loses. Until now. Alexander Mercouris speculates, reading between the lines of recent UKR accounts of the RUS mass-arrest event at the Azot chemical factory, that some of these operatives may be among those headed for trial in RUS-directed courts. hxxps:// He cites a private chat with Larry Johnson, ex-CIA operative turned critic.

    It seems that the root of Ms. Johnstone’s ‘crawling with CIA’ metaphor for failure is the organization’s inveterate propensity to lie. Surprise! But Larry Johnson explains here that facts on the ground eventually do catch up with their script: hxxps://

    THAT seems to be where the world is at: as the G7/NATO complex is scrambling to repeat its fraudulent ‘We can’t let UKR lose!’ nostrums in Munich and Madrid, while another of its stenographers (MSNBC) is in the death throes of its Maddow-era ‘model’ of parroting the CIA press releases, Ms. Johnstone and her CN compatriots are gaining an increasingly post-MSM enlightened audience.

  9. Dienne
    June 28, 2022 at 09:57

    Frogs actually do notice when the water is becoming uncomfortably hot and will attempt to jump out. Humans (at least, Americans) are apparently less adaptable

  10. Steve
    June 28, 2022 at 07:16

    No this is not our war, this conflict was brought about by the US disrespect for Russia’s security (for many years) and the fawning European leadership. With the US’s involvement in the overthrow of the legitimate government, to the disregard of the Minsk accords and the 7+ years of war in the Donbass (which we in the west heard very little about) Unfortunately it’s the same old playbook, basically get the people ready to accept going to war! With the compliant media always ready to help, the mind games started long ago and are slowly ramping up (as was the lead up to the Iraq war). Sadly our narcissistic, arrogant leaders must be seen as tough (re Hollywood) and some like Biden and Johnson have pinned their political futures to ‘winning’ this unwinnable conflict which puts the whole world in danger.

  11. Jack Stephen Hepburn Flanigan
    June 28, 2022 at 06:29

    Makes sense; seems correct to me. Thank you.


    • Jack Stephen Hepburn Flanigan
      June 28, 2022 at 06:33

      Also ask where is Australia in this s**t mess. It seems the new PM wants to join NATO.


      • Mikael Andersson
        June 28, 2022 at 23:12

        Yes Jack, “Albo” is saluting NATO in Spain today. Within 48 hours of his election he was in Japan saluting the QUAD. Australia is a loyal vassal and knows who to salute. The indoctrination has succeeded and there is widespread support. You and I will be in a very small minority who dissent. The majority cannot spell the word “peace” or remember having ever lived there. Australia has been at war all this century and now sees it as normal. Regards

        June 29, 2022 at 02:03

        I suggest the new PM is as ‘deeply embedded’ up the US you know where, as almost all of his predecessors, bar Gough Whitlam and, to a lesser extent, Paul Keating.

  12. June 28, 2022 at 06:26

    Wow! A fantastic CIA piece. If you enjoyed this excellent and informative article you are going to love this non-promotional anecdote about real spies and authors from the espionage genre whether you’re a le Carré connoisseur, a Deighton disciple, a Fleming fanatic, a Herron hireling or a Macintyre marauder and If you don’t love all such things you might learn something so read on!

    There is one category of secret agent that is often overlooked … namely those who don’t know they have been recruited. For more on that topic we suggest you read Beyond Enkription (explained below) and this very current article on that topic by the ex-spook Bill Fairclough. The article can be found at website in the News Section. The article (dated July 21, 2021) is about “Russian Interference”; it’s been read over 20,000 times. Anyway, since you seem to be interested in all things espionage we guess you’re interested in Oleg Gordievsky, so this anecdote should make for compulsory reading.

    John le Carré described Ben Macintyre’s fact based novel, The Spy and The Traitor, as “the best true spy story I have ever read”. It was about Kim Philby’s Russian counterpart, a KGB Colonel named Oleg Gordievsky, codename Sunbeam. In 1974 Gordievsky became a double agent working for MI6 in Copenhagen which was when Bill Fairclough aka Edward Burlington unwittingly launched his career as a secret agent for MI6. Fairclough and le Carré knew of each other: le Carré had even rejected Fairclough’s suggestion in 2014 that they collaborate on a book. As le Carré said at the time, “Why should I? I’ve got by so far without collaboration so why bother now?” A realistic response from a famous expert in fiction in his eighties!

    Gordievsky never met Fairclough, but he did know Fairclough’s handler, Colonel Alan McKenzie aka Colonel Alan Pemberton. It is little wonder therefore that in Beyond Enkription, the first fact based novel in The Burlington Files espionage series, genuine double agents, disinformation and deception weave wondrously within the relentless twists and turns of evolving events. Beyond Enkription is set in 1974 in London, Nassau and Port au Prince. Edward Burlington, a far from boring accountant, unwittingly started working for Alan McKenzie in MI6 and later worked eyes wide open for the CIA.

    What happens is so exhilarating and bone chilling it makes one wonder why bother reading espionage fiction when facts are so much more breathtaking. The fact based novel begs the question, were his covert activities in Haiti a prelude to the abortion of a CIA sponsored Haitian equivalent to the Cuban Bay of Pigs? Why was his father Dr Richard Fairclough, ex MI1, involved? Richard was of course a confidant of British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, who became chief adviser to JFK during the Cuban missile crisis.

    Len Deighton and Mick Herron could be forgiven for thinking they co-wrote the raw noir anti-Bond narrative, Beyond Enkription. Atmospherically it’s reminiscent of Ted Lewis’ Get Carter of Michael Caine fame. If anyone ever makes a film based on Beyond Enkription they’ll only have themselves to blame if it doesn’t go down in history as a classic espionage thriller.

    By the way, the maverick Bill Fairclough had quite a lot in common with Greville Wynne (famous for his part in helping to reveal Russian missile deployment in Cuba in 1962) and has also even been called “a posh Harry Palmer”. As already noted, Bill Fairclough and John le Carré (aka David Cornwell) knew of each other but only long after Cornwell’s MI6 career ended thanks to Kim Philby. Coincidentally, the novelist Graham Greene used to work in MI6 reporting to Philby and Bill Fairclough actually stayed in Hôtel Oloffson during a covert op in Haiti (explained in Beyond Enkription) which was at the heart of Graham Greene’s spy novel The Comedians. Funny it’s such a small world!

  13. H. S.
    June 28, 2022 at 06:04

    Would you think they will try to engage in hot war before the winter to protect the economy of the EU from colapsing?

    • Dfnslblty
      June 28, 2022 at 09:33

      Good points in the essay, and good question above.

      An historically based answer would be: Of course – elections and the appearance strength which weak leaders require.

      Dissolve nato—Stop War!— Protest Loudly!

    • UncleDoug
      June 28, 2022 at 11:06

      Escalating to a hot war between US/NATO and Russia will *ensure* the collapse of the European economy. The US might try to force the issue anyway. We’ll see whether or not the Europeans have agency or are merely in this matter agents of the US.

  14. Henry Smith
    June 28, 2022 at 05:13

    It’s hard to think of one single conflict on this planet where the CIA are not involved !
    It may be in their remit to monitor and analyse conflicts but it does actually seem that in reality they initiate and control most conflicts. So, no surprises that the CIA are in the Ukraine, similarly with the UK SAS, similarly with the Yemen, similarly with Taiwan, etc. etc.

  15. michael888
    June 28, 2022 at 03:50

    The laughable “This only started when Russia invaded Ukraine” BS propagated by the State Media has been obvious to anyone with a brain who does even a modicum of research on the internet (although the information has a way of “revising” itself).
    From my perspective, the Ukraine became a US-puppet state in 2005 with the Orange Revolution (with Kiev being in the Western anti-Russian half of Ukraine, it was easy for the CIA to quickly build a “Revolution” , replacing Yanukovych with Yushchenko due to a “stolen Election” (as if any Election in super corrupt Ukraine was ever going to be perfectly above board. In the UN-monitored 2010 Election the CIA candidate Yushchenko received only 5% of the vote, and Yanukovych won with over 45%). I don’t call Yushchenko the CIA candidate out of any personal animosity toward him. Rather he was a banker who had lived in the US, and was married to an American “State Department official” who most Ukrainians knew was a CIA agent. Yushchenko also pushed the US policy of glorifying NAZIs from Ukraine’s checkered WWII past, naming Stepan Bandera as a “Hero of Ukraine”, and normalizing nationalist neoNAZI groups who infiltrated the top positions in police, military and security apparatus, a process which was increased under Poroshenko and Zelensky after the Maidan Coup. Yanukovych, though demonized by the US as a Pro-Russian President, was actually a typical border country leader, trying to play the EU against Russia. He of course had American handlers– the Podesta Group, Greg Craig and Manafort– but was a poor puppet. After Yushchenko’s deals at high interest with the EU (the money went poof! as happens in Ukraine), Yanukovych went with Russia’s lower interest deal thus sealing his fate within months in the Nuland, Pyatt, VP Biden and his UkroNAZIs overthrow of the democratic elected Ukrainian government (still a US Puppet State) in the Maidan Coup of 2014. Putin took Crimea immediately, but had no interest in the Donbass until the US’s genocide of the ethnic Russian Ukrainians in Donetsk and Lugansk (according to the UN and OSCE observers, over 80% of the deaths in the breakaway republics were of their citizens), culminating in the increased shelling by the US-backed NAZIs in February, provoking invasion. (You have to wonder what the purpose was for those 30+ US bioweapons labs captured by the Russians.Can we make Slavic-specific Covid?)
    Of course State Media says this all started in February when Russia invaded (after Putin followed his lawyers’ advice and Clinton’s prior plan of support of the breakaway republic of Kosovo from Serbia with UN Article 51 “collective self defense” of Donetsk and Luhansk.)
    Obviously corrupt US-puppet state Ukraine was a planned Black Hole Where the Money Goes replacement War for Afghanistan. Probably even easier to steal US taxpayer money there. (appeared in consortiumnews) gives a good idea of Viceroy VP Biden’s control.

    • vinnieoh
      June 28, 2022 at 12:50

      Only to address your first paragraph michael: some (many) of us WERE paying attention, and I at least distinctly remember Russia trying to employ diplomacy to head off this misbegotten conflagration. I also remember the bald-faced liars of the Biden administration saying uncategorically that Russia’s “demands” (their words – should honestly have been CONCERNS) were absolute non-starters.

      The translation of course is that bullies don’t do diplomacy, they bully. Well, the bully is going to get a very bloody nose, no matter what, starting with that doddering old 50’s throwback Joe Biden who is going to disappear completely in the next election cycle. The leadership of the Democratic Party is a collection of fools and thieves, only slightly above the slugs in the Republican Party.

  16. June 27, 2022 at 23:26

    Americans, Canadians and the west are so evil, that they make the Roman empire look like boy scouts. I have never in my lifetime felt so demoralized and disgusted with being a Canadian in a nation, that bows down to an abominable empire like America. Trudeau and Freeland should be ashamed and horrified at the number of Ukrainians that have died needlessly, because of their sadistic hatred of another nation. To think my father and grandfather fought against Nazis and now we glorify them, and hold them up as moral crusaders.

  17. Susan
    June 27, 2022 at 22:32

    I’ve never known you to be wrong about anything, Caitlin. In fact, you ‘see’ the facts more clearly than anyone I know. Bravo!

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