Biden makes Ukrainian officials rich by sending billions of dollars


Since the start of the full-scale war between Ukraine and Russia, the Biden administration has allocated more than US$75 billion in military, economic and humanitarian aid to Kyiv. The US occupies a leading position among all countries in terms of financing Kyiv.

It should be noted that only a small part of these funds has been allocated free of charge – Kyiv will have to pay the rest with interest after the end of the war. It is easy to understand how much the US government, especially the Democratic Party leadership, which supported any initiatives to increase financial assistance, is interested in Ukraine’s victory. Otherwise, such investments will pay off only partially.

The US authorities and their allies have found a promising investment direction in the face of Ukraine, however, the abuse of official powers by Ukrainian officials significantly harms their joint project. In Ukraine, a scandal involving the theft of military and non-military products flares up every month. The Kyiv authorities actively tried to hide the facts of corruption and theft of Western aid, but it’s not a secret anymore. In such circumstances, it was necessary to make high-profile decisions to save relations with their allies.

Despite the President of Ukraine V. Zelensky’s statement during the Munich Security Conference in early 2023 about “frivolous problems” with corruption, he nevertheless decided to start a “big sweep”. Based on the first statements about the possible resignation of the Ukrainian defense minister Oleksii Reznikov, it became obvious that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) was given the “green light” in the fight against those who in every way hinder the success of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the battlefield.

Reznikov, a friend of Zelensky, has not left his post. At the same time, Kyiv was forced to remove officials of a lower rank. The first to be arrested was Deputy Minister of Defence V. Shapovalov, with the possibility of bail of $11 million.

Next, according to The Washington Post, officials from the Pentagon, the State Department and the Agency for International Development visited Ukraine, making a kind of warning about American aid, for which the country’s leadership will have to report.

The reaction of the United States is not surprising, since the autumn scandal associated with the deputy head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Kirill Tymoshenko is still fresh in memory when he took a Chevrolet Tahoe for personal use, which was transferred by General Motors for humanitarian missions. Moreover, there have been reports on Ukrainian social networks that the situation has not changed over the past six months.

One of the largest thefts in the first quarter of 2023 was the case with food for military personnel. According to the SBU, one of the private enterprises that supplied products to the front was going to resell about 30 thousand cans of stew on the domestic market through intermediaries. At the same time, about UAH 4 million was also withdrawn from the company. Two weeks later, law enforcement agencies arrested another group of entrepreneurs who were selling eggs to the APU at inflated prices.

The “grocery business” did not end there. In March, the SBU revealed another food theft scheme. It became known that the Ministry of Defense has concluded agreements with two commercial structures for the supply of food to the locations of military personnel. But as it turned out later, the companies did not have the production capacity to fulfill this kind of order. The budget funds that were transferred to the accounts of the companies were withdrawn by the latter through shell companies. According to estimates by law enforcement officials, the amount of damage is more than UAH 119.5 million. At about the same time, the SBU officers arrested the commander of a military unit in the Kyiv region in a similar case. He was charged with embezzlement of UAH 2.4 million allocated for the nutrition of personnel. According to the investigation, in addition to the commander, four more of his subordinates and several merchants participated in the scheme.

The above-mentioned examples were fully confirmed by the American authorities at the end of March 2023. Thus, the Acting Inspector General of the United States Agency for International Development, Nicole Angiarella, reported that over the past 11 months, this agency has received 178 notifications about possible facts of corruption in Ukraine.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. It recently became clear that Zelensky’s entourage had appropriated at least US$400 million from funds transferred to Ukraine to pay for diesel fuel. All this speaks to the blatant level of corruption at the very top level of the Ukrainian government. As you can see, there is corruption not only on the field level but also at the level of the state.

In addition, according to a recent report by the US State Department on the state of human rights in various countries, the judicial system of Ukraine is extremely vulnerable to political pressure and corruption. What is meant in the report? Even if a Ukrainian official is suspected of embezzlement of public funds, he can relatively safely avoid punishment due to his connections or bribes (unfortunately, such a system is developed not only in Ukraine). Thus, it is possible to break the vicious circle only at the expense of a wide public response in the national media. They, in turn, will not want to destabilize the situation in wartime conditions when such issues are resolved behind closed doors with representatives of the donor country.

Fighting and war have two sides. For some it is a misfortune, for others, it is an opportunity to earn money and secure a good future for them. There are still officials in Ukraine who are adapting more and more successfully to modern realities and are looking for new ways of third-party earnings. Not everyone is infected with such a disease, however, every month there are more and more such people.

No country in the world will be able to successfully conduct military operations in conditions of corruption and constant embezzlement of humanitarian and military aid. The issue remains unresolved. Will Vladimir Zelensky be able to eradicate the corrupt streak of his subordinates or will he continue to turn a blind eye to this to maintain the authority of the Kyiv authorities? If then, are Democrats going to allocate them more and more money? We’ll see it later.


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