On Tuesday, the Ukrainian hacker group Cyberberkut (cyber-berkut.org/en/) made public some documents signed by US President Barack Obama and State Secretary John Kerry about the further deliveries of the lethal weapons to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. According to the hackers, they found the data stored on the mobile device of an American diplomat accompanying US Vice-President Joe Biden during his visit to Kyiv.
Official mass media preferred to avoid this message, however Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, as well as the press secretary of the US Embassy in Moscow, were compelled to comment on the leaked information about military deliveries to Ukraine. According to their statements, Washington provides Kyiv exclusively with non-lethal military aid. Though they didn’t disprove the fact that the State Department employee’s mobile device had been hacked.
At the same time, the materials spread by Cyberberkut testify that Washington is ready to deliver rifles, missiles, anti aircraft armament and armor equipment to Kyiv. Besides, hackers claim that the Ukrainian army has been financed from the US Department of Defense budget for a long time. According to hackers, the amounts of financing are ‘amazing’ and make impression that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are ‘a branch of the American Army’. What is more surprising, the US transfers hundreds of thousand dollars to Ukrainian officers’ personal accounts in circumvention of all established rules, principles and common sense. It’s not excluded that the Ukrainian military could freely spend the American aid for personal purposes.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces are actually in the extremely deplorable state. In August/September 2014, the Ukrainian ministry asked the Pentagon to pay meals and incidental expenses of the Ukrainian officers so that they could take part in the Rapid Trident joint maneuvers pending in Ukraine. In fact, Kyiv might not be pressed for money so much. The Ukrainians may just have wanted to gain from the United States as much as possible while there was an opportunity like that.
Among the most interesting documents there’s also the Ukrainian Defense Ministry ‘request’ for the American weapons supply. Kyiv asks to deliver 400 sniper rifles, 2000 assault rifles, 720 shoulder grenade launchers, nearly 200 mortars and more than 70 000 mortar shells, 420 Javelin anti-tank missiles and even 150 Stingers. Considering that the rebels have no aircraft, there is a fair question, what will the Ukrainian military do with anti-aircraft weapons? Unless they’re awaiting for another Malaysian Boeing.
The request for diving equipment for an underwater warfare team of 150 personnel also attracts special attention. The requests like that go outside the framework of peaceful and defensive measures. It turns out that all Ukrainian peaceful initiatives and statements to cease fire against rebels remain just a declaration.
It’s worth mentioning here that the UN Charter and international law forbid deliveries of lethal arms to the regions with an unstable political and military situation and urge all parties of the conflict to refrain from violence. Now the Cyberberkut hackers’ leakages exclude the opportunity that the lethal weapons would be delivered to Ukraine in secret.
It’s interesting how the US partners in Europe can react to this incident. It’s supposed to be honest to respect the civilized diplomatic norms and inform NATO colleagues that the US is preparing lethal aid supplies to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Information warfare in Ukraine goes on, but it’s the first time when the United States’ officials were involved. It seems that visit will have serious consequences for the members of Joe Biden’s delegation thanks to Ukrainian followers of Julian Assange and his Wikileaks. The Administration is also sure to draw conclusions on reliability of personal devices of the employees.