Zelensky and his generals may have embezzled $400M from US aid
Just yesterday, veteran journalist Seymour Hersh made a bombshell revelation again on Substack about the war in Ukraine.
We know that the U.S. government appropriated more than $112B of taxpayers' funds for the war in Ukraine in 2022 alone. Perhaps a lot more has been unofficially dispatched.
Last May, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) demanded that accountability measures be included to ensure that the funds are spent appropriately. It is stunning that such an obvious provision needed to be demanded; one would have assumed that it would be built in. The appalling record of corruption in the U.S. under Biden and in Ukraine makes oversight essential.
If the lawmakers really cared for the welfare of the Ukrainian people, they would have unanimously sided with Senator Paul to ensure that the funds reached the proper destinations. Instead, Paul received little support among lawmakers from either party. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell dismissed Paul as a "tiny percentage" of "isolationist" Senate Republicans.
Consequently, D.C. has purposefully excluded any tracking of the billions dispatched to Ukraine.
Zelensky modestly accepts enthusiastic support from Congress (YouTube screen grab).
This meant taxpayers' funds could be spent wherever they desired, and citizens will never know about this possible criminal wastage of their funds.
We are learning how this lack of accountability is being exploited.
Seymour Hersh has claimed that Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky has been using these U.S. taxpayers' funds to pay for the vitally needed diesel fuel that is keeping the Ukrainian army on the move in its war with Russia.
Transportation usually occurs in armored vehicles for which fuel consumption is high. It remains unclear how much the Zelensky government is paying per gallon for fuel. In the past, the Pentagon paid nearly $400 per gallon to transport gasoline from Pakistani ports, via truck or parachute drop, into Afghanistan during the decades-long war in that country.
An unnamed U.S. intelligence official made a shocking revelation to Hersh that Zelensky has been procuring fuel from none other than Russia, the very country it claims to be fighting on the ground.
Why Russia? Because the fuel is cheaper, and it enables Zelensky and his officials to skim the remaining untold amount earmarked for diesel fuel payments.
Perhaps the sale occurs via a third party?
In also means that Ukrainian officials could be funding their adversaries in the war.
Hersh revealed an estimate by analysts from the CIA that placed the embezzled funds at around $400 million. Another expert compared the level of corruption in Kyiv to approaching that of the Afghan war, "although there will be no professional audit reports emerging from Ukraine."
Hersh revealed that Ukrainian government ministries in Kyiv are setting up front companies for export contracts for weapons and ammunition with private arms dealers around the world, all of which provide kickbacks.
Many of those companies are thought to be based in Poland, Czechia, the Persian Gulf, and Israel. An expert in international trade told Hersh that he "wouldn't be surprised to learn that there are others in places like the Cayman Islands and Panama" where lots of Americans are involved.
The issue of corruption was directly raised with Zelensky during a meeting last January in Kyiv with CIA director William Burns, who presented Zelensky with a list of "thirty-five generals and senior officials whose corruption was known to the CIA and others in the American government."
Zelensky responded ten days later by publicly dismissing ten of the most ostentatious officials on the list and doing little else. They were probably dismissed not for their corruption, but for making a vulgar display of their loot. An intelligence official told Hersh, "The ten he got rid of were brazenly bragging about the money they had — driving around Kyiv in their new Mercedes[.]"
It was also reported that top generals and government officials in Kyiv were furious at what they saw as Zelensky's greed. Burns told Zelensky it was because "he was taking a larger share of the skim money that was going to the generals."
This isn't just corruption, but a competition of corruption.
It shouldn't be a surprise; even prior to the war, corruption and cronyism were widespread and systemic in Ukraine. Shady malefactors such as the Bidens traveled to Ukraine to strike shady deals with dubious oligarchs in Ukraine to enrich themselves. They knew that corrupt Ukrainian officials merely look the other way in exchange for inducements.
Zelensky, despite no background in politics, won the presidential election in 2019 from a campaign that was allegedly bankrolled by one of Ukraine's richest — and most corrupt — oligarchs, Igor Kolomoisky. Kolomoisky's record was so appalling that even the U.S. government banned him from entry into the country, citing "significant corruption" and his using his "influence and power for his personal benefit" as reasons.
Upon being elected, Zelensky passed "tough" anti-oligarch laws, which on the surface seemed like an anti-corruption move, but in reality, the laws were used to target both Zelensky's and Kolomoisky's challengers and adversaries.
There is more bad news apart from the corruption. Hersh also claimed that the U.S. government blew up the Nord Stream pipelines. Hersh quoted an unnamed intelligence official who said that the sabotage of the pipelines and lack of strategic planning about Ukrainian conflict had caused a mounting rift between the White House and the Intelligence Community. The official claimed that the White House lacks clarity on its policy in Ukraine, while the Pentagon is somewhat optimistically preparing for an end to the conflict.
A recent trove of leaked classified documents revealed a lack of unity among U.S. allies fighting the Ukraine war. Also, 14 American troops have been secretly deployed to Ukraine and are direct combatants in the war, contrary to claims made by U.S. officials.
The leak also revealed that the Ukrainian army, contrary to media reports, may be on the verge of losing the war due to the death of combatants, depletion of weaponry, and failure of air defenses. Other reports revealed that the Ukrainian conflict had attracted over 20 thousand foreign fighters from all over the world. These unvetted "fighters" could pilfer the advanced weaponry for other use or sell them in the black market to nefarious forces.
The president of Nigeria revealed that weapons from Ukraine are ending up in Nigeria, and Finnish media reported that criminal organizations could be trafficking weapons from Ukraine to the U.S. or various E.U. nations.
It appears that exceptionally inept and the exceedingly crooked people are running this show; hence, the outcome will be nothing short of a disaster. This chaos and corruption would never have occurred if the U.S. had independent government watchdog agencies and an objective questioning news media. Alas, those who should have functioned as watchdogs have become tail-wagging lapdogs who are willing to surrender in return for a figurative cookie.
This could be a scandal of epic proportions — billions are being directed to a losing war, and millions are ending up in the pockets of corrupt Ukrainian officials and possibly even U.S. officials. The duration of this war is directly proportional to the amounts that can be embezzled.
The risk is that we are being led into World War III, which will end with the extinction of the human race.