by Peter Zeihan on May 6, 2022
The Ukrainian military has enjoyed an outsized amount of success when it comes to successfully finding–and eliminating–a variety of high-value Russian targets. The Ukrainian military did not have a reputation of hitting above their weight before the Russians invaded this past February, nor do we think of them as the kinds of technical wunderkinds to quickly build up indigenous signals and targeting intelligence capabilities.
Which means they’re probably getting some help.
A constellation of various American military and civilian officials have spoken openly about the United States’ intelligence sharing relationship with the Ukrainians, either while testifying before the US Congress or directly with the media. They typically frame the intelligence sharing as necessary for helping to keep Ukrainian civilians safe, or giving the government in Kyiv a heads up about Russian intentions.
There’s little evidence to believe that this represents the full scope of intelligence sharing.
Not the least of which is the growing list of Russian generals and military commanders who keep ending up dead. Or the absolutely stunning amount of Russian planes, tanks, armored personnel carriers, rocket launchers and ships (including the flagship of the Black Sea fleet) that the Ukrainians have successfully eliminated. We should give credit where credit is due. The Ukrainian military and volunteers are by all accounts a highly motivated bunch. It is not easy to metabolize new weapons systems, training and tactics–especially against a larger force.