LEAKED DOCS: Turkey Undermining Ukrainian War Effort While Praised By Biden Admin

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Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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Turkey, a NATO ally of the United States, has repeatedly undermined Ukrainian war efforts by considering weapons sales to Russian mercenaries and helping Belarus evade sanctions, according to leaked Pentagon documents acquired by the Daily Caller.

Turkish companies purchased sanctioned goods from Belarus to resell them in European markets and also resold European goods to Russia, helping Minsk and Moscow to circumvent sanctions, according to one document reviewed by the Daily Caller. Another document cites intelligence claiming members of the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary organization linked to the Kremlin, met with Turkish contacts to discuss purchasing weapons for use in Mali and Ukraine.

Pentagon Doc 3 by Dylan Housman on Scribd

Pentagon Doc 4 by Dylan Housman on Scribd

The classified documents were initially leaked online in March on various social media platforms, the first of which is believed to have been a Minecraft group on Discord. The docs were subsequently scrubbed from social media before resurfacing in media reports in recent days, during which time they were acquired by the Daily Caller.

The intelligence does not indicate whether or not the weapons talks were fruitful, or if Turkey was taking action on the companies that were helping Russia and Belarus evade sanctions. The business dealings were allegedly reported by a Turkish trade attaché in late 2022.

Wagner, founded by politically-powerful Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, has done much of the front-line fighting for Russia in Ukraine to help Russian President Vladimir Putin keep actual Russian troops out of harm’s way to whatever extent possible. Using mercenaries rather than conscripts for frontline fighting has been a key domestic political strategy for Putin to maintain support for the war.

Wagner is also active in other parts of the world, often being contracted by developing countries in Africa to engage in “counterterrorism” operations. (RELATED: LEAKED DOCS: New Chinese Hypersonic Missile Has ‘High Probability’ Of Penetrating US Defenses)

Turkey has further entered the geopolitical spotlight since Russia invaded Ukraine, serving as a key diplomatic broker on multiple grain deals to keep critical food shipments going through the Black Sea. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has alluded to trying to broker a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine, although major progress has yet to be made.

In addition to the transgressions revealed by the leaked documents, Turkey has also served as a roadblock to NATO expansion. Finland joined the alliance April 4 after months of negotiations, but Ankara is continuing to block the addition of Sweden, alleging Stockholm is not doing enough to combat Kurdish “terrorists” in Sweden who are hostile to Turkey. Erdogan also made a veiled threat at bombing Greece, another NATO ally, in late 2022.

Throughout all of this, President Joe Biden and his administration have remained publicly supportive of Turkey and have lauded its work as a NATO ally. Biden has brushed off concerns about Turkey blocking NATO expansion, and the State Department has repeatedly praised Ankara for brokering the grain deals.