The US is supplying Kiev with spy satellite imagery of enemy positions in eastern Ukraine, but does so by deliberately reducing the quality, apparently so as not to anger Russia too much, according to The Wall Street Journal.
A debate has been on in the US for some time on whether the Obama
administration should provide the Kiev government with actionable
intelligence. As with providing “defensive” weapons, the
disagreements are similar.
However, imagery reduced in quality has apparently been
green-lighted, but only arriving to the Ukrainians 24 hours late
at the least. This step is apparently to ensure the US isn’t in
any way thought of as a participant in the conflict, the
newspaper said, referencing its own sources.
Another reason for why the images are somewhat degraded is in the
event of the photos accidentally ending up with the Russians, who
as a result would learn more about American spy satellite
Ukraine does not like the way things are at the moment,
complaining that it hampers its efforts against what it calls
“This assistance is not sufficient… We don’t have a day to
wait for satellite images. The information should be real
time,” Andriy Parubiy, first deputy chairman of the
Ukrainian Rada told WSJ.
Moscow has repeatedly denied aiding the rebels.
Parubiy, on the other hand, adds that a deal is already in place
with Canada to supply more real-time and more high-resolution
His concerns about timeliness and quality are shared by many
within the American political elite, especially the famously
anti-Russian Senator John McCain, who has been making claims of
weapons support for the uprising from Russia.
Nonetheless, the White House has last year agreed to Kiev’s
request for intelligence on east Ukraine, albeit after things are
done to it. This also allegedly includes blacking out Russian
These compromises are there allegedly to give the Ukrainians a
better idea of what they’re dealing with at home, rather than
what takes place a stone’s throw away on foreign soil.
Ukraine meanwhile continues to pressure the US for weapons as
well, from radars to missiles to drones, but only getting so
much, as it’s not a NATO member – unlike Russia’s other immediate
neighbors Poland, Lithuania and Estonia, who have all got Javelin
Ukraine’s non-membership is thought to have led to a consensus
among NATO members to hold off on supplying it with lethal aid,
according to an unnamed military official.
However, Anti-Kiev hacking group, CyberBerkut, said
that they have obtained documents proving that the US plans to
supply lethal weapons to Ukraine through private military
“We’ve accessed files stored on an electronic device of one
of the members of the Green Group private military company, who
recently visited Kiev as part of the US army delegation,”
the group said on its website.
The hacktivists also posted online the copies of documents,
suggesting that the Washington hasn’t given up the idea of arming
the Kiev government, but wants to receive support for the move
from its allies in Europe.
According to CyberBerkut, the supply of weapons will be entrusted
to experience professionals from private US military companies,
who will arrive in south-eastern Ukraine to take part in the war.