(Se puede leer esta nota en español aquí.)
The CIA is using the spy agencies of a European NATO ally in order to launch sabotage attacks in Russian territory, according to journalist Jack Murphy.
Murphy is a former US special operations officer who has extensive contacts inside the military and intelligence services.
Citing multiple US government sources, Murphy reported that the CIA and the European state spent years developing “sleeper cells that the allied spy service has activated to hinder Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine by waging a secret war behind Russian lines.”
Infrastructure that has been sabotaged in Russia includes railways, bridges, fuel depots, military facilities, power lines, and electrical plants.
The NATO ally began sending sleeper cells into Russia in 2016, and with the help of “‘an extensive network’ of front companies,” the CIA and the European state smuggled in explosives, weapons, and other equipment.
The US military has also been involved, Murphy reported. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) “has supported the sabotage operations with targeting information from intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, such as drones, that can see and hear deep into Russia.”
The White House allegedly signed off on the sabotage operation. Murphy said, “Using an allied intelligence service to give the CIA an added layer of plausible deniability was an essential factor in U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to approve the strikes.”
I spent months working on this deep dive about the CIA working with a NATO intelligence ally to conduct sabotage strikes inside Russia. Merry Christmas.https://t.co/XGWLjkH5N0
— Jack Murphy (@JackMurphyRGR) December 24, 2022
President Barack Obama set the stage for this sabotage. The Washington Post revealed back in 2017 that, before Obama left office, he approved a “covert measure that authorized planting cyber weapons in Russia’s infrastructure, the digital equivalent of bombs that could be detonated if the United States found itself in an escalating exchange with Moscow.”
And it is not just Russia whose territory has been attacked.
In April 2022, the Washington Post reported that “a clandestine network of railway workers, hackers and dissident security forces went into action to disable or disrupt the railway links connecting Russia to Ukraine through Belarus, wreaking havoc on Russian supply lines.”
According to Murphy, this sabotage operation inside Belarus was overseen by the CIA and its NATO ally.
He did not name the European country whose spies are on the ground in Russia carrying out the attacks, but it has been speculated that it may be a Baltic state or perhaps Poland.
While the CIA has officially denied involvement, Murphy pointed out, “Under Title 50 of the U.S. Code which authorizes covert actions, the CIA can lawfully deny the existence of these operations to everyone except the so-called ‘Gang of Eight'” – a reference to top level US officials.
— Seth Harp (@sethharpesq) December 24, 2022
Journalist Seth Harp, who is also a US military veteran, tweeted the article and added, “I hear that no fewer than three major national publications killed this deeply reported and well sourced story by [Jack Murphy] under pressure from the CIA.”
Murphy hinted at this in an editor’s note published with his report, disclosing that, “while working with editors at mainstream publications I was asked to do things that were illegal and unethical in one instance, and in another instance I felt that a senior CIA official was able to edit my article by making off the record statements, before he leaked a story to the New York Times to undermine this piece.”
Murphy has published at numerous mainstream media outlets, and he is by no means pro-Russian. He has repeatedly condemned the Russian government and said President Vladimir “Putin is a wimp and a cry baby.” Murphy has likewise insisted that Moscow should withdraw its troops from Ukraine and criticized calls for a peaceful diplomatic solution to the conflict.
More evidence of CIA involvement in the proxy war in Ukraine
Murphy’s report adds to a growing body of evidence documenting the CIA’s role in the proxy war in Ukraine.
In January 2022, weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine, Yahoo News revealed that, since 2015, the CIA had been “overseeing a secret intensive training program in the U.S. for elite Ukrainian special operations forces and other intelligence personnel.”
This CIA program was started by the Obama administration and subsequently expanded by the Donald Trump and Joe Biden White Houses.
Yahoo News wrote: “By 2015, as part of this expanded anti-Russia effort, CIA Ground Branch paramilitaries also started traveling to the front in eastern Ukraine to advise their counterparts there.”
Later in March 2022, Yahoo News followed up with another report admitting that, since 2014, Washington had a “covert CIA training program run from Ukraine’s eastern frontlines,” where US spies were supporting Ukrainians in the early stages of the proxy war against Russia.
“We tried to really focus on op planning, then really hard mil skills like long-range marksmanship—not just the capacity to do it, but to know how to do it on a battlefield, to really deplete the leadership on the other side,” said the former official.https://t.co/IlSxf4wAIW
— Zach Dorfman (@zachsdorfman) March 19, 2022
In June 2022, the New York Times acknowledged that the CIA and special operations forces from numerous European countries are physically in Ukraine overseeing the proxy war, providing weapons, intelligence, and training.
The Times reported: “Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the [US] Army’s 10th Special Forces Group, which before the war had been training Ukrainian commandos at a base in the country’s west, quietly established a coalition planning cell in Germany to coordinate military assistance to Ukrainian commandos and other Ukrainian troops. The cell has now grown to 20 nations.”
A stealthy network of allied commandos and CIA agents is coordinating weapons and information on the ground in Ukraine, hinting at the scale of covert support efforts. https://t.co/24xlFpYQE0
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 26, 2022
Murphy drew parallels between the CIA sabotage operations targeting Russia today and the “stay-behind” networks that the US spy agency and NATO created during the first cold war, known popularly as Operation Gladio.
These Western stay-behind networks included notorious fascist war criminals, Nazi collaborators, and organized crime elements.
Murphy noted that, while it has long been claimed that these Gladio networks were dismantled in 1994, many in fact continued.
The stay behinds are controversial for many reasons, mostly because of the Italian network referred to as GLADIO. To this day, we still don't know what the actual NATO program name is/was. Stay behind is known as the 4th infiltration method in Special Operations.
— Jack Murphy (@JackMurphyRGR) December 28, 2022
Risk of escalation into direct US-Russia war
Jack Murphy concluded his report warning of the potential of the proxy war in Ukraine escalating into a direct conventional war between the United States and Russia.
In December 2022, the leader of the NATO military alliance acknowledged that this is a serious risk.
“It is a terrible war in Ukraine. It is also a war that can become a full-fledged war that spreads into a major war between NATO and Russia,” said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. He subsequently reiterated that “there is no doubt that a full-fledged war is a possibility.”
Similarly, in November 2022, the commander of Stratcom, the US military command that oversees nuclear weapons, warned, “This Ukraine crisis that we’re in right now, this is just the warmup.”
“The big one is coming,” said Navy Admiral Charles A. Richard. “And it isn’t going to be very long before we’re going to get tested in ways that we haven’t been tested a long time.”
The dangers of NATO expansion and provocations in Ukraine had been known for decades.
President Biden himself conceded in 1997 that the Baltic states joining NATO would cause “the greatest consternation,” which could “tip the balance” and result in a “vigorous and hostile reaction” by Russia.
Former US Ambassador to Russia William J. Burns, who is now CIA director, warned in a classified 2008 State Department cable that NATO expansion to Ukraine would cross Moscow’s security “redlines” and “could potentially split the country in two, leading to violence or even, some claim, civil war, which would force Russia to decide whether to intervene.”