Ukrainian special forces getting military targets from CIA satellite – Times
Soldiers of Ukraine’s ‘Thor’ special operations group are using satellite data provided by the CIA to choose targets when conducting drone strikes against Russian forces, the unit’s commander told The Times.
The 27-man group, which is formally a police special operations unit, functions independently from the Ukrainian army and works in close collaboration with the country's military intelligence, the GUR, which provides them with ammunition and intel. According to The Times, the unit has complete license to select its missions, where it barracks and when it fights.
The unit’s commander, whose name is said to also be Thor, claims he uses a special application on a tablet that is synced to a CIA satellite to select potential targets for their attacks.
“We select targets in the program, and targets can be placed there both by the CIA satellite and by our own satellite, which our volunteers pay for. Information is collected from all kinds of sources there. We choose, then we arrive and conduct our own reconnaissance,” Thor told the outlet.
Another member of the group told the Times that Thor also intentionally uses drones to maim – rather than kill – Russian servicemen. “These ones are to wound the Russians,” Aleksander, 30, told The Times as he armed a 3D-printed drone with mining explosives. “Take an arm or a leg, he will be a burden on the state forever,” he said.
According to the Times, all members of Thor are veterans of Ukraine’s 2014 military operation against anti-Kiev forces in the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The two regions broke away from Ukraine after opposing the country’s new authorities in the aftermath of the 2014 Maidan coup in Kiev, which ousted democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovich. Both territories, along with the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, were incorporated into Russia last year following public referendums.
Moscow has long accused the US and its allies of being directly involved in the Ukraine conflict and essentially waging a “proxy war” against Russia by continuing to provide Kiev’s forces with increasingly advanced weaponry, ammunition and intelligence.