- voicesevas.ru: The Black Water of Ukraine
In March – April 2014 with the development of the civil war in Ukraine, started to come different reports on the American Private Military Companies (PMCs) operating on the territory of Ukraine as well as the CIA agents, the intelligence centres and the information war centres. These PMCs, being the part of the Soft Power strategy, do all the dirty work that would be difficult to do with the help of the armed forces. In March 2014 the staff of the American PMC “Greystone” was again and again noticed in Donbas. It can be prooved by photos and by numerous facts of the English speech heard in the combat zone and during the Kharkov Regional State Administration capturing performed by the forces controlled by the Kiev`s junta. In the end of April the information that the PMC “Academi” operates in Donbas leaked to the Western press.
The information was released by the German edition “Bild” citing anonymous sources in the German intelligence service. According to the information received by the German intelligence service from American colleagues, the PMC staff is involved in combat operations against DNR citizens in arms and local separatist movement during almost two months. The total number of the Academi mercenaries operating in Donbas reaches 400 people, not including the losses of the Greystone mercenaries.
Authorities of the USA and Germany refused to comment on the sensational information and actually no refutation of this information followed. This confirmed the position of the DNR militia from Kramatorsk and Slavyansk that repeatedly asserted that against them under the guise various Ukrainian special forces are fighting foreign mercenaries.
The Academi, known as the Blackwater until February 2009, as the Xe Services LLC until January 2010, is the U.S. security company (private military company) , founded in 1997 by Erik Prince and Al Clark. In fact, the most famous private military company, that had left a long and bloody trail, has come to Ukraine under the new titles. Let us turn to the structure of this PMC and its activities in order to understand the enemy better and to understand what American mercenaries actually do on the territory of Ukraine.
The Academy consists of a large number of units and subsidiaries. It is currently the largest private military company. Its headquarteres are located in Currituck County, North Carolina, on the territory of Moyock community.
The rifle range of one of the company`s divisions
The Blackwater was one of the largest security companies in the world. Her actions were widely publicised during the war in Iraq , when the Blackwater employees turned out to be involved in the murders of civilians and smuggling of weapons. It profits mostly from participation in armed conflicts. Government orders account for about 90% of the revenue. According to several reports, the contract with Ukraine is payed by Ukrainian oligarchs, and first and foremost by Kolomoysky. The PMC staff participated in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Blackwater was also hired to eliminate the aftermath of the “Katrina” hurricane, when it was necessary to shoot looters and to maintain order in the streets of the flooded city using firearm. Also the Blackwater customers are private individuals, oil and insurance companies.
Erik Prince, the creator of the Blackwater
The creator of the Blackwater Erik Prince graduated Hillsdale College and worked as an intern at the White House under George H. W. Bush. Later he graduated the Naval Academy and served in the Naval Special Forces. The money to buy the first training center and to establish the company he inherited from his father. He bought an area of 24 km² on the border between North Carolina and Virginia. In this area there was a lake with black water that contained a lot of peat. That is why the company was named the Blackwater. Over time, this security company has become a real private military company, and Erik Prince has become one of the main sponsors of the Republican Party. Actually, Prince and his company are the part of the ruling American establishment and the emergence of the Blackwater staff in a country usually indicates that the United States pursues important political and economic goals in this country.
The Blackwater Security Consulting company (BSC) was founded in 2002. The company employees participated in the war in Afghanistan. Immediately after the regime of Saddam Hussein had fallen in 2003, the Blackwater appeared in Iraq as one of the 60 security companies. It began to train new Iraqi armed forces and police. It also supported the occupation forces.
Employees of Graystone Limited in Afghanistan
In March 2004 the private Blackwater army suffered the first loss: four employees were killed. At the time of the Blackwater forces withdrawal from Iraq there were 987 mercenaries in the country, 744 were citizens of the United States. The company participated in the Iraq war until September 2009. The Blackwater has the right not to disclose the loss of its staff. According to general estimates the human losses in Iraq account for about 780 people. These deaths are not counted in the official statistics of war casualties. In fact, the Blackwater maintained the occupation regime and performed the punitive and anti-partisan operations associated with violations of the laws of war.
In October 2007 the Blackwater USA changed the company name to the Blackwater Worldwide and unveiled a new logo. The company representatives claim that such changes are not related to the shooting of a demonstration in Baghdad. They also say that the decision to change the name and rebranding has been taken much earlier. But essentially, it was just a subsequently repeated attempt to hide from the accusations of war crimes under the new name.
In 2009 the founder of the company Erik Prince resigned as CEO. In February the Blackwater Worldwide officially changed its name to the Xe, and began to use the US Training Center brand. Erik Prince performed the main managerial roles since the establishment of the company and until March 2, 2009. Now the founder of the company holds the post of the Chairman of the Board, but he is no longer involved in the daily activities of the company.
Many of the key positions in the company were occupied by former high-ranking officials. For example, Cofer Black , who was the Coordinator of Counterterrorism of the U. S. State Department from 2002 to 2004 and the director of the CIA Counter-Terrorism Center from 2006 to 2008, served as deputy chairman of the company from 2005 to 2008.
Gary Jackson, a former U.S. Nany SEALs officer, served as president of the company until the arms smuggling scandals happened. Robert Richer was vice president of the U.S. intelligence service until January 2007 and later he became the director of one of the departments of the Blackwater. Now the executive director of the company is Joseph Iorio.
In general, the Blackwater is the military infrastructure of the Pentagon transfered to a private sector. In essence, it is a private contractor that solves important problems of the American defense establishment.
To understand the scale of the organization, it is enough to be briefly acquainted with its structure reflecting the global activities. The Xe Services is a management company, it mainly performs administrative functions. The main activity is distributed between the company divisions. Considering the structure of the organization we should be aware that there are companies that are not in the group but belong to Erik Prince.
For example, the EP Aviation LLC company, named after the owner, holds a tactical and training aircrafts. The Total Intelligence Solutions company, located in Arlington, concerns risk management and the provision of consulting services .
The Blackwater Maritime Solutions prepares naval forces soldiers. In 2004, the company conducted the training of Greek security services that provide security during the Olympics in 2004. It also conducted the training of Azerbaijani and Afghan forces. The company can simulate sea battles on artificial lakes. After the American ship USS Cole had been attacked, the Blackwater Maritime Solutions received a contract to train the sailors of the U.S. Navy.
The Blackwater Security Consulting (BSC) is one of the private security companies that participated in the war in Iraq. This very company protected officials and objects, trained the army and the police , and supported the occupation armed forces of the U.S. and NATO. The company has an agreement with the Bureau of Diplomatic Security. It provided security services for diplomats in Afghanistan, Iraq , Bosnia and Israel. The company protects the U.S. embassies in Iraq, offers its services in disaster management and emergency assistance. Probably, the employees of this very department were among the Donetsk governor private security members during the March events in Donetsk.
The Greystone private security service is registered in Barbados. The company subsidiary that is called the “Satelles Solutions, Inc” carries out recruitment of citizens from different countries . Their website states that they can provide the best soldiers around the world that can perform their activities anywhere. The company objectives can vary from small to large-scale operations that require a large number of people to provide security in a region.
The Aviation Worldwide Services has three subsidiaries: the STI Aviation, the Air Quest and the Presidential Airways. The company was bought by the Blackwater in April 2003 . Its headquarter is in Melbourne, Florida. The STI Aviation is a member of the FAA / JAA. It performs maintenance and repair of aircrafts. The Presidential Airways works in close contact with the U.S. Department of Defense. The company owns several CASA 212 and Boeing 767 aircrafts. It also owns MD-530 helicopters, that were frequently used during the Iraq war. The company carried out air transport operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. In November 27, 2004, the plane CASA 212 crashed. It has the tail number N960BW and belonged to the PAW. All the people on the board ( three soldiers and three civilians) died. The relatives of some of the dead passengers sued the company after this incident.
The Blackwater Armored Vehicle designs light armored vehicles. The main factory (6.500 sq. m.) is located in Camden, North Carolina. An armored personnel carrier Grizzly APC, designed specifically for fighting in urban environments, is one of the company`s developments.
The United States Training Center provides the training of regular army soldiers and special subdivisions soldiers. The preparatory camp in North Carolina has everything that is necessary for such activities – shooting ranges, polygons , an artificial pond and an airfield .
The Blackwater Target Systems manufactures equipment for shooting ranges and shooting galleries. The Blackwater Airships designs unmanned flying vehicles or drones . The Raven Development Group is a construction company that built buildings and training centres for the Xe Services. The main task of the K- 9 division is to prepare service dogs and war dogs so that they could perform military and law enforcement functions and serve as patrol dogs, explosives detection dogs, narcotics detection dogs.
American employees of American PMC in Donetsk. March 2014
As you can see, the Blackwater is not just mercenaries, but the whole industry of military services where a war and a murder is a business, wherea a death is a product that is always for sale. Recently the part of this product has been purchased for Ukraine. The consequences of such “purchases” of professional mercenaries are well known as a matter of bloody experience of the Blackwater in the Iraq war. At that time the mercenaries have the same goal as they have now in Ukraine – to maintain a puppet regime, to protect U.S. intelligence services representatives, media and business from guerrilla warfare. The Blackwater played a significant role in the war in Iraq as a U.S. government contractor. In 2003, the first contract to protect the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority Paul Bremer was signed. It reached 21 million dollars. For this money the company payed with its own blood and blood of strangers. The certain number of dead Iraqis remains unknown, but the losses of the Blackwater leaked to the press. It accounts for more than a thousand people.
The company has been repeatedly accused of smuggling weapons, war crimes and killings of civilians. Here are several characteristic episodes that define the essence of the Blackwater and the attitude towads it.
Four Blackwater security contractors were killed on March 31, 2004 by Iraqi insurgents, while protecting an ESS convoy en route. The bodies were pulled out of the cars, beaten and then burned. The corpses were tied to the cars, they were dragged through the streets and finally they were hung on the bridge over the Euphrates . This incident led to the occupation of the Fallujah city by the U.S. Armed Forces and to lawsuits with the families of the died people.
Iraqi woman killed by the Blackwater mercenaries
In April 2004, a few days after an ambush in Fallujah, a small group of the Blackwater mercenaries together with the U.S. Marine Corp attacked by fire 400 Iraqi civilians that were protesting near the headquarters of the Coalition Provisional Authority in An Najaf.
In 2006, a car accident happened in the Green Zone in Baghdad. The off-road vehicle driven by the Blackwater employees crashed into the Humvee of the U.S. Army. The Blackwater employees disarmed the soldiers and forced them to lie on the ground at gunpoint until they removed their off-road vehicle from the place of the accident.
Blackwater`s victims in Iraq
In the evening, December 24, 2006, an employee of the Blackwater company, abusing alcohol, shot the guard of the Iraqi vice president, firing at him Glock pistol three times. The mercenary who committed this crime was fired from the company and deported from the country. No more sanctions were applied to him .
The company became notorious for the incident with killings of Iraqis in September 16, 2007. The Blackwater staff, guarding the diplomatic convoy of the U.S. State Department, staged a fire fight at the central square in Baghdad. This led to the death of 17 Iraqi civilians and injury of 18 Iraqi civilians (among the casualties were children). After this incident the company was deprived of the license to conduct its activities for one week. The Iraqi government initiated the withdrawal of the Blackwater mercenaries from Iraq but later the contract was renewed. After the incident the U.S. government stated that they will not renew the contract with the Blackwater, and that its place in the market will take another company – the Triple Canopy. The investigations revealed that from 2005 to 2007 the employees of the company participated in 195 fire fights and in 84 % of cases they opened fire first.
In March 9, 2010 the security company appeared to be involved in another big scandal connected with an investigation of disappearance of more than 500 Kalashnikov rifles and other weapons from the U.S. military supply deport in Afghanistan. Presumably, the person responsible for the loss of weapons was the Blackwater employee who signed withdrawal invoices with the name of the cartoon character Eric Cartman from the “South Park”. In September 16, 2010, five members of the Xe leadership, including the chief executive Gary Jackson, were charged with illegal arms trafficking. Officials falsified documents and thus they hid their gift of 22 weapons to Jordanian King Abdullah II. That weapons included 17 AK rifles captured during a raid in 2008.
Thus, the organization that now operates in Ukraine has never burdened itself with keeping legality. Its reputation has been tarnished by numerous war crimes and criminal acts. This is usual for mercenaries operating in the shadow of the world`s hegemony. They are forgiven many things for which the whole countries are subjected to public flogs and humanitarian bombing.
- FT-Siehe auch: Ukraine Ereignisse