A senior Ukrainian Defense Ministry official has been detained over allegations he embezzled 1.5 billion Ukrainian hryvnia ($40 million) relating to an artillery shells contract, according to the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU).
It’s US taxpayer money. The US is funding Ukraine’s entire bureaucracy.
In September, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky fired his Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, citing the need for “new approaches” amid a number of corruption scandals involving Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense.
Rustem Umerov, the former people’s deputy of Ukraine, was appointed as his replacement.
In October, the Biden administration officials reportedly were “far more worried about corruption in Ukraine than they publicly admit, according to a confidential U.S. strategy document obtained by Pplitico.”
The “sensitive but unclassified” version of the long-term U.S. plan lays out numerous steps Washington is taking to help Kyiv root out malfeasance and otherwise reform an array of Ukrainian sectors. It stresses that corruption could cause Western allies to abandon Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s invasion and that Kyiv cannot put off the anti-graft effort.
“Perceptions of high-level corruption,” the confidential version of the document warns, could “undermine the Ukrainian public’s and foreign leaders’ confidence in the war-time government.”
That’s starker than the analysis available in the little-noticed public version of the 22-page document, which the State Department appears to have posted on its website with no fanfare about a month ago.
Rand Paul wrote on X, “Millions of Americans are struggling each day to make ends meet. Is it fair to funnel our hard-earned money to a corrupt foreign government? My oath of office requires me to put the American people first, not Ukraine’s oligarchy.”