By Boris Novoseltsev
Posted on Strategic Culture Foundation, March 5, 2015
CyberBerkut is a group of Ukrainian hackers set to fight neo-fascism, nationalism and power abuse in Ukraine. It has gained access to the files on the mobile device of the Green Group PMC (private military company) official who has recently visited Kiev as a member of American military delegation. It made the materials public on February 27 using its website (http://cyber-berkut.org/).
Green Group is a US private military company founded in 2007 with headquarters in Edmond, Oklahoma. It has a European branch in Tbilisi. The number of employees differs from 50 to 200, though the exact number is not known as quite often the personnel hired for a concrete mission are not put on pay roll. The company is licensed with the US Department of State and the State Department. CyberBerkut posted the documents to open access along with the Green Group advertisement. Two letters of Gregg Holmes, the CEO of the PMC, to the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ Chief of Staff Muzhenko became public domain. One of them written in Ukrainian and dated February 15, 2015 (the Minsk agreement was signed on February 12) is worth to be cited.
It goes like this: «As you know, the United States is in contact with NATO partners on lethal arms supplies to Ukraine. There has been no mutual understanding reached so far. As I am informed by my friends in State Department and the Pentagon, the United States is going to increase the pressure on European allies. During recent consultations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France the US State Department team insisted on expediting the procedures for delivering anti-tank systems and heavy weapons to Ukrainian military. The United States believes that lethal arms will stop the advance of separatists inside Ukraine and prevent them from approaching the administrative border of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. According to the US government estimates, the use of up-to-date weapons by Ukrainian military will inevitably inflict heavy losses upon Russian volunteers fighting in the terrorists ranks. It will be impossible to hide the fact of heavy casualties. In its turn, this information will cause tension in Russia and spur the emergence of anti-war movement to organize mass protests against the current Russian government.
No matter the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs always supports the White house initiatives, the Government of France is hardly happy with our proposals. President Francois Hollande is not ready to drastically change his Ukraine policy but the US State Department came forward with a bright idea. The weapons will be delivered to “volunteers” fighting for Ukraine or the operatives of Western private military companies with great experience of using the weapons and equipment. Green Group is ready at any time to provide the Ukrainian military with volunteers in sufficient numbers.
The US government believes that France could at least make a financial contribution with money transferred from the French Foreign Ministry to State Department accounts to hide the real purpose it is allocated for».
It is known that the Ukraine-U.S. Joint Commission is responsible for arms supplies. A document of the US European Command (Eucom) contains a proposal to deliver lethal arms to Ukraine allocating $75 million for the purpose. The package includes Javelin anti-armor missiles, different kinds of light weapons, miscellaneous equipment and individual protection kits. $2 million are to be spent on some Maidan network. Another Eucom document mentions ammunition, including grenades. $45 million is to be allocated for the training of Ukraine’s military, first of all special forces. The arms will be transferred within the framework of Joint Multinational Training Group – Ukraine program in accordance with the Ukraine-U.S. Joint Commission.
Perhaps, the purpose of the Green Group’s mission was to get acquainted with the Ukraine’s military requirements and observe the situation on spot. The documents show that the US assessments were a bit different from what Ukraine requested. The US offers to make it a much bigger deal. For instance, Green Group proposes to increase the number of robotic systems and include 9 thousand optical devices. Communication systems top the list while Ukrainians give priority to drones.
According to the documents, Kiev started the talks on weapons supplies no later than mid-2014. The Ukraine-U.S. Joint Commission (its next session is slated for May or June 2015) serves as a cover. The geography is the whole Ukraine. The US does not trust Ukrainians with making assessments of their needs. This mission will be carried out by private contractors. They will also take part in combat actions and work as consultants and trainers.
Green Group is not the only private military company hired by the Pentagon and the State Department to provide for arms supplies to Ukraine. According to media, at least 3-4 thousand people employed by defense contractors operate in Ukraine. The decision is not taken at the political level but it does not prevent the organizers of military supplies from doing their job.