I will admit earlier that I did not know the extent of NATO’s presence in Ukraine until this week. I just wasn’t paying attention. But Russia’s concussion on Yavoriv, Delatin, Mykolive, and Zaitomir caught my eye. If you don’t pay attention you should.
My recent article, Russia Exploiting Ukraine’s Western Flank, should have been headlined, Russia has declared NATO impotence. That piece spoke of an attack on Yavoriv and Delatin. My curiosity is fully evident and I am now searching the internet for US and NATO documents that describe their activity at the site.
Have you heard of Zhytomyr? Did you know that NATO conducted cyber security training for Ukraine at Zhytomyr in September 2018 and described Ukraine as a “NATO partner”?
As part of the NATO Defense Education Enhancement Program for Ukraine, Serhiy Korolylov visited the Zhytomyr Military Institute (ZMI) from September 24 to 28, 2018 to assist in the development of a new course on cyber security. Ukraine is one of the first NATO partners (with Tunisia) to develop such a course.
Experts provide examples of cybersecurity education work in a military institute context (Canadian, Polish and Irish military academies), facilitated by adaptations to the generic reference curriculum in cybersecurity. They demonstrated a step-by-step process for developing a customized course for a specific national context. This included a course on curriculum development, and a presentation of detailed lesson plans and laboratory exercises. The exercise involved cyber operations, in support of the scenario of both defensive and offensive military missions.
NATO was training Ukraine for “aggressive” cyber operations. Russia did not have to use any intelligence agencies to find out. All they needed was a Google search engine. This is not a fictional Russian fear. It’s real. It is detailed in the link in NATO’s own language.
The Ukrainian base in Mayolaiv was also hit yesterday (Saturday):
Mycolive has a history with NATO and the United States:
As tensions rise between Russia and Ukraine in the Black Sea, the United States and NATO are upgrading several Ukrainian naval bases to allow warships to dock just miles away from Russian-controlled Crimea.
The U.S.-funded effort to strengthen and upgrade existing piers and add a new floating dock, security cordon around the base, includes Ochakiv naval base and Mycolive’s military facilities – 40 miles east of Odessa and less than 100 northwest of Crimea. Ship repair facilities, and a pair of brand-new maritime operations centers from which Ukrainian and NATO forces can coordinate exercises and activities directly.
Russia has been worried about this threat for some time. In July 2018, Radio Free Europe reported that Ukraine was upset because Russia was naming some of its military units after Ukrainian cities:
According to the Kremlin, the new naming decree is intended to “preserve the glorious military and historical heritage, and to nurture loyalty to the fatherland and military duties among military personnel.” . .
Under the decree, the 933rd Missile Regiment is now called the Upper Denipar Regiment after the river Ukraine. The 6th Tank Regiment is now called the Lovev Regiment, the 68th Tank Regiment the Zhitomir-Berlin Regiment, and the 163rd Tank Regiment the Nezin Regiment.
The decree uses the Russian spelling of all Ukrainian names, which in Ukrainian are Lviv, Zhytomyr, and Nizhyn.
The advantage of looking back is that Russia is sending a very clear message about its strategic priorities in Ukraine.
Finally, it appears that NATO and EUCOM are busy scrubbing all reference websites at their bases in Ukraine that have hosted NATO and US forces. I found the following using DuckDuckGo, but the link is broken. Do you think this is a coincidence? I can’t.
United States European Command
https://www.eucom.mil ›Topic› yavorivUnited States European Command Image. 3:19 PM 7/12/2016. Chaplains of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and soldiers of the Ukrainian National Guard conclude a prayer at the closing ceremony of Exercise Rapid Trident 16 in Yavoriv, Ukraine July 8, 2016. The exercise is a regional command post and field training exercise involving 13 to about 2,000 troops.
I do not know if there were any other bases where NATO and US military forces provided training and / or equipment to Ukrainian forces. If this past week’s events are an indicator of future planning, I don’t want to waste any time on that base. Putin is very clear – we are going to disarm them.
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