Ukraine’s government has been caught embezzling “at least” $400 million in taxpayer-funded U.S. aid that was meant to help the nation’s war effort amid the Russian invasion, according to an explosive new report.
Renowned investigative journalist Seymore Hersh has revealed that President Volodymyr Zelensky together with senior Ukrainian government officials and thirty-five generals embezzled funds meant to buy diesel fuel for Ukraine’s army.
According to Hersh, the CIA discovered the embezzlement scheme and found that the nation’s leaders were stealing the money to buy luxury cars and other items and live lives of opulence.
America has been sending huge sums of cash to Ukraine to buy fuel due to the alleged difficulty the country has in importing diesel amid the ongoing war.
Due to these claimed limitations, Ukraine insists that it has to import fuel at a vastly increased cost.
The embezzlement scheme reportedly involves Ukraine buying cheap diesel from Russia at a massively inflated price, allowing Zelensky, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and both leaders’ allies to make hundreds of millions of dollars in profits at the expense of the American taxpayer.
It is unknown how much the Zelensky government is paying per gallon for the fuel.
However, the Pentagon was paying as much as $400 per gallon to transport gasoline from a port in Pakistan, via truck or parachute, into Afghanistan during the decades-long American war there, Hersh revealed in his report.
According to Hersh, Zelensky has been buying the fuel from Russia, the country with which it, and Washington, are at war, and the Ukrainian president and many in his entourage have been skimming untold millions from the American dollars earmarked for diesel fuel payments.
One estimate by analysts from the CIA put the embezzled funds at $400 million last year, at least.
Another expert reportedly compared the level of corruption in Kiev as approaching that of the Afghan war, “although there will be no professional audit reports emerging from the Ukraine.”
“Zelensky’s been buying discount diesel from the Russians,” one knowledgeable American intelligence official told the reporter.
“And who’s paying for the gas and oil? We are.
“Putin and his oligarchs are making millions” on it.
Many government ministries in Kiev have been literally “competing” to set 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 in Poland and Czechia, but others are thought to exist in the Persian Gulf and Israel.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there are others in places like the Cayman Islands and Panama, and there are lots of Americans involved,” an American expert on international trade told Hersh.
The issue of corruption was directly raised with Zelensky in a meeting last January in Kiev with CIA Director William Burns.
His message to the Ukrainian president, I was told by an intelligence official with direct knowledge of the meeting, was out of a 1950s mob movie.
The senior generals and government officials in Kiev were angry at what they saw as Zelensky’s greed, so Burns told the Ukrainian president, because “he was taking a larger share of the skim money than was going to the generals.”
Burns also 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 to the American pressure ten days later by publicly dismissing ten of the most ostentatious officials on the list and doing little else.
“The ten he got rid of were brazenly bragging about the money they had — driving around Kiev in their new Mercedes,” the intelligence official reportedly told Hersh.
According to The Eurasian Times, Hersh also reported the White House is preparing for the war to potentially be settled in months.
The official said that while the White House lacks clarity on its policy in Ukraine, the Pentagon is somewhat optimistically preparing for an end to the conflict.
Two months ago, the US Joint Chiefs tasked members of the staff with drafting an end-of-war treaty to present to the Russians “after their defeat on the Ukraine battlefield,” Hersh said, citing a source.
But it remains unclear what will happen if the Pentagon’s scenario goes wrong and Ukrainian forces fail on the battlefield: Will the two American brigades deployed close to the war zone “join forces with NATO troops and face off with the Russian army inside Ukraine?” Hersh asks.
Hersh also reported there’s a rift between the US intelligence community and the White House over the bombing of the Nord Stream pipelines and Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan mismanaging the broader Ukraine conflict.
Meanwhile, Hersh, citing an intelligence official, said that the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines and lack of strategic planning with regard to Ukraine had caused a growing rift between the White House and the US intelligence community.
“There is a total breakdown between the White House leadership and the intelligence community,” the intelligence official was quoted by Hersh as saying.
The alleged rift dates back to the covert operation last fall to blow up Russia’s Nord Stream pipelines, a move that was purportedly ordered by Democrat President Joe Biden.
“Destroying the Nord Stream pipelines was never discussed, or even known in advance, by the community,” the official said.
Zelensky’s firing of several top officials earlier this year has been clouded in mystery up to this point.
Reuters reported on a few details which came out in January:
Deputy Defence Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov tendered his resignation after a local media report accused the ministry of paying inflated prices for food supplies, an old trick used by corrupt officials to skim off money.
Zelenskiy’s office said it had accepted the resignation of Kyrylo Tymoshenko, 33, as its deputy head. He gave no reason.
Tymoshenko worked on Zelenskiy’s election campaign and had been in his post since 2019, overseeing the regions and regional policies.
He had been criticised by local media for driving flashy cars during the invasion, though he denied wrongdoing and said the vehicles had been rented.
Tymoshenko was exposed last year by a citizen journalist who photographed him driving around in a new 2021 Porsche Taycan.
Before the media decided to turn Zelensky into the world’s great leader and anoint him Person of the Year, Zelensky was exposed by the Pandora Papers leak for having hidden tens of millions of dollars in offshore bank accounts.
The money was given to him from the billions of dollars corrupt Jewish-Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky had looted from Ukraine.
Despite Ukraine being rich with natural resources and “the breadbasket of Europe,” Ukrainians are the poorest people in all of Europe thanks to corrupt leaders bleeding their country dry.
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