An op-ed published this week at LifeSite News, of all places, asked the kind of tough questions about tens of billions in taxpayer dollars being spent in Ukraine that every reporter and politician in Washington, D.C., should be asking, but aren’t — namely, where is all that money really going?
“Following the unscheduled January visit of CIA Director William Burns to Kyiv, many Ukrainian officials have been removed from their posts. This sudden ‘anti-corruption’ drive, which saw many ministers replaced, was ostensibly undertaken to combat a culture of institutionalized plunder which earned Ukraine the title of ‘Most corrupt nation in Europe,’” columnist Frank Wright began.
“Yet the cleaning of this Augean stable has halted, leaving the most controversial suspect in office. If these sackings and resignations were undertaken to oust the guilty, why stop short of removing the most obviously compromised minister of all?” he continued.
Three weeks ago, the Ukrainian defense minister Oleksii Reznikov faced the possibility of being dismissed due to his alleged involvement in the misappropriation of funds. Despite the Ukrainian parliament voting for his removal, the case against him has mysteriously disappeared, as has the country’s anti-corruption efforts, Wright noted.
David Arakhamia, the chief of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s party’s parliamentary bloc, initially described the process as a “reshuffle” due to the ongoing conflict’s constraints. Arakhamia did not accuse Reznikov of any wrongdoing, citing the “logic of war” as the reason for the shift, the columnist continued.
According to an AFP report, Zelensky said, “Reznikov would be appointed minister for strategic industries.”
“But confusion only deepened when Arakhamia [then] said that the replacement would not take place,” the report continued. “The next day Zelensky urged Ukrainians to refrain from ‘spreading any rumors or other pseudo-information’ but confirmed that change was underway.”
It is common for inconvenient facts to be labeled as false information. Given this, why has the obviously culpable individual been allowed to remain at the helm of Ukraine’s lucrative war machinery, Wright asked.
The columnist opined that one explanation may lie in Reznikov’s relationship management skills. When his replacement was being considered, political analyst Anatoly Oktysiuk remarked:
Reznikov managed to build strong connections with Western officials, and questioned whether his successor would be able to take on Reznikov’s role as a ‘successful diplomat.’
The defense minister implicated in corruption was not removed from his position due to his favorable connections with Western politicians who provide funding and weapons. The democratic vote of the Rada Verkhovna was disregarded as the financial interests of many now rely on individuals like Reznikov to maintain the influx of money, Wright noted.
The supposed “reshuffle,” which was later referred to as an anti-corruption campaign, has ended abruptly without any justification. It appears to have been a strategy to substitute various government and regional authorities with hand-picked individuals backed by the U.S., a process that coincidentally sped up and then stopped following the visit of the CIA director, he said.
After unleashing his hounds, Mr. Burns steps aside and hands over the spotlight to the U.S. Treasury Secretary, who arrived in Kyiv as air raid sirens blared overnight, replicating the same spectacle that occurred during President Brandon’s visit. Janet Yellen, whose adeptness at generating revenue from public appearances is widely known, had nothing but positive words for Zelensky during her visit on February 27, Monday: “Your steady hand and prudent economic management in the face of tremendous economic challenges has made a meaningful impact in helping stabilize Ukraine’s economy.”
Continuing, Wright points out that no clear explanation has been given regarding the whereabouts of the estimated $60 billion in military aid, as well as the additional $100 billion from the U.S. alone. There appears to be no effort to investigate where the money and weapons are being utilized, he wrote.
It’s possible that if Reznikov had been removed from his position, it could have led to revelations as distressing as those unveiled in the CBS documentary “Arming Ukraine.” The documentary disclosed that only 30 percent of the weapons supplied to the Ukrainian army had been received. The global response to this disclosure was not outrage towards the issue, but rather towards the reporting of it. CBS eventually censored its own film and pleaded for forgiveness for the report.
“In saner times, such as before the war to destroy Russia was undertaken, mainstream news outlets would warn of the danger to U.S. national security presented by arming Ukraine,” he wrote, but apparently, things have changed — only, we just don’t know why yet.