The US Vice-President Joe Biden left Ukraine after his official visit on November 20-21, 2014, but Kyiv is still full of rumours about his arrival. And that’s due to the well known Ukrainian hacker group Cyberberkut (cyber-berkut.org/en/) that published in the net some documents signed by US President Barack Obama and State Secretary John Kerry about further deliveries of the lethal weapons to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The hacktivists claim they found the documents in the mobile device of an American diplomat accompanying Mr. 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.
Moreover, we shouldn’t forget that lethal weapons supplies to the crisis regions are prohibited by the UN Charter and International Law. Media leaks made by Cyberbercut hackers exclude the possibility that lethal weapons will come to Ukraine stealthy. Evidently the United States in contravention of civilized norms were not going to inform its NATO partners on preparations for lethal weapons supplies to Ukraine.
At the same time, Washington continues to exert considerable pressure on European countries in the context of the Ukrainian crisis. For example, France has refused to deliver the first Mistral helicopter carrier warship to Russia to the detriment of their own interests. In addition to the public image losses as a reliable contractor, Paris will have to pay about $2 bln penalty and compensation for non-contract terms.
It seems that the visit of Vice President Joe Biden and his delegation will have long-playing consequences due to the Ukrainian followers of Julian Assange and his Wikileaks. As you know, what is done by night appears by day. Perhaps, the US should be more transparent with its European partners: it’s extremely unpleasant to learn from the press about the secret negotiations behind your back.
Olena Shevchenko is a journalist from Ukraine.