Is the Financial Theft of the Ukraine War Over?

By | November 14, 2023

For years, Ukraine was recognized as one of the most, if not “the” most, corrupt nation in Europe. It held on to that reputation all the way up to the day Russia invaded in late February 2022, at which point media worldwide suddenly started rewriting history.

As noted by Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, in a sober and clear-eyed article, published in April 2022:1

“Statements from U.S. and other Western officials, as well as pervasive accounts in the news media, have created a stunningly misleading image of Ukraine. There has been a concerted effort to portray the country… as a plucky and noble bulwark of freedom and democracy …

The notion that Ukraine was such an appealing democratic model in Eastern Europe that the country’s mere existence terrified Putin … is a myth … Even before the war erupted, there were ugly examples of authoritarianism in Ukraine’s political governance …

The neo-Nazi Azov Battalion was an integral part of President Petro Poroshenko’s military and security apparatus, and it has retained that role during Zelensky’s presidency …

The country is not a symbol of freedom and liberal democracy, and the war is not an existential struggle between democracy and authoritarianism. At best, Ukraine is a corrupt, quasi‐democratic entity with troubling repressive policies.

Given that sobering reality, calls for Americans to ‘stand with Ukraine’ are misplaced. Preserving Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity most certainly are not worth the United States risking war with a nuclear-armed Russia.”

Indeed, while President Biden kept sending tens of billions of American taxpayer dollars to Ukraine in the name of “defending democracy,” Zelensky banned all opposition parties in the country and blacklisted American politicians and journalists who questioned the U.S. involvement in the conflict.2 So much for democracy and democratic values.

Is Ukraine Aid Part of a Money Laundering Scheme?

According to the Panama Papers3,4 released in 2016, which have been described as “a giant leak of more than 11.5 million financial and legal records [which] exposes a system that enables crime, corruption and wrongdoing,” Zelensky is likely just as corrupt as his predecessors, as he, his wife and several associates all own “hidden offshore assets.”

With that in mind, why is the U.S. sending billions of dollars to Ukraine without requiring any kind of accounting for where all this money is going? According to official aid trackers, the U.S. had sent $ 76.8 billion in military, financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine as of the end of July 2023.5,6

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The European Union contributed another $ 85.1 billion in that same timeframe.7 And, in mid-October 2023, Biden proposed yet another $ 105 billion foreign aid package, $ 61 billion of which will go to Ukraine.8,9

The lack of oversight combined with the lack of Ukrainian progress in the conflict and the refusal to enter into peace negotiations raises suspicions that these aid packages may simply be another money laundering scheme like we saw with FTX.10,11 At least $ 178 million sent to Ukraine through the now-defunct FTX crypto exchange may have been laundered back to the Democratic Party in the U.S.12

Ukraine Still Rife With Corruption

Lately, mainstream media have started to revisit the issue of corruption in Ukraine, probably because public perception of corruption may undermine the entire operation.

For example, October 2, 2023, Politico reported receiving a “sensitive but unclassified” strategy paper in which Biden administration officials warn that “Perceptions of high-level corruption” could “undermine the Ukrainian public’s and foreign leaders’ confidence in the war-time government.” According to Politico:13

“The administration wants to press Ukraine to cut graft … But being too loud about the issue could embolden opponents of U.S. aid to Ukraine, many of them Republican lawmakers who are trying to block such assistance. Any perception of weakened American support for Kyiv also could cause more European countries to think twice about their role.

Ukrainian graft has long been a concern of U.S. officials … But the topic was deemphasized in the wake of Russia’s February 2022 full-scale invasion …

More than a year into the full-scale war, U.S. officials are pressing the matter more in public and private. National security adviser Jake Sullivan, for instance, met in early September with a delegation from Ukrainian anti-corruption institutions.

A second U.S. official familiar with the discussions confirmed to POLITICO reports that the Biden administration is talking to Ukrainian leaders about potentially conditioning future economic aid on ‘reforms to tackle corruption and make Ukraine a more attractive place for private investment.’”

No such conditions have been proposed for military aid, however, which makes up the bulk of the money spent on Ukraine. Similarly, in mid-September 2023, Reuters reported14 that “billions of dollars of aid earmarked for Zelensky’s government as well as ambitions to join the European Union ride on Ukraine proving that it is serious about fighting corruption and embracing good governance.”

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Zelensky, for his part, has increasingly tried to portray himself as a staunch corruption fighter, firing more than a dozen senior officials on corruption charges in January 2023.

In August he also fired all the heads of the draft offices across the country, after it became known that men were bribing their way out of military service by paying for medical exemptions.15 In September he also fired his minister of defense over allegations of corruption within the ministry. A Ukrainian Supreme Court justice was also arrested this past summer for taking bribes.16

Yet, such mass firings and arrests of high-level individuals have done little to quell rumors and accusations that Zelensky still tolerates corruption within his inner circle,17 perhaps because it’s true. According to a top adviser to Zelensky, who spoke to a Time journalist off the record, “People are stealing like there’s no tomorrow.”18

An Expensive Unwinnable War

In a September 2023 meeting with U.S. senators, Zelensky pleaded for more funds saying “You’re giving money. We’re giving our lives.”19 Indeed, according to U.S. officials, at least 70,000 of Ukraine’s 500,000 troops had been killed by mid-August 2023, and another 100,000 to 120,000 wounded.20

Another 9,614 Ukrainian civilians had also been killed as of September 10, 2023.21 So many Ukrainian youths have been thrown into the meat grinder that the average age of Ukrainian soldiers is now 43. Men up to the age of 60 face the risk of being drafted at any time.

The supply of cannon fodder is running so low that Ukraine recently updated its conscription law to include women.22 Women between the ages of 18 and 60 with medical backgrounds, including doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists and pharmacists, must register for military service as of October 1, 2023.

However, unlike their male counterparts, women are not barred from leaving the country unless they’re called in for active duty.23,24 Ukraine is also trying to get as many Ukrainians back from other countries as well. To that end, Norway recently announced it will pay EUR 1,500 in cash to any Ukrainian willing to go home.25

Yet despite the enormous sums of money being poured into Ukraine, the weapons sent, the conscription of women and aged civilians, Ukraine is making no headway and have no conceivable way of winning. Even some of Zelensky’s closest aides are now saying he’s “deluding himself” thinking he can still somehow win.26

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NATO countries are running out of ammunition and warn of shortages,27 while Russia has ramped up its military hardware production more than tenfold.28 And, even if we continue to supply the weapons, Ukraine is running out of able-bodied fighters to use them.29

Preplanned Post-War Profiteering

In the final analysis, one wonders whether corruption might actually be a primary driver of this war. Is the American public being robbed and Ukraine drained of its youths while a relatively small number of corrupt individuals stuff their pockets with cash?

It looks that way, especially in light of the news that BlackRock, which already owns most of the private assets in the world, is positioning itself to profit from a post-war Ukraine. As reported by Business Today in early May 2023:30

“President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, recently met with the management team of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management company, to discuss the creation of an investment fund aimed at restoring the country’s economy through public and private capital. Netzines have not taken well to the news with many criticizing Zelensky over the meeting.

A Twitter user said, ‘Taxpayers pay the war bills, private firms get the profits.’ ‘Ukraine being privatized and sold off to companies like Blackrock,’ another said.

According to the press service of the Office of the President, the parties discussed the details of the investment fund’s creation and implementation of large-scale business projects in Ukraine.”

The U.S. is also keen on Ukraine privatizing its banks,31 which will open the door for central bankers to take over. And let’s not forget that the big picture plan for Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction is to turn the whole country into smart cities with “smart governments” run by artificial intelligence.32,33

It’s also a testing ground for warfare-related AI technologies34,35 said to be “paving the way for AI warfare in the future,”36 although it doesn’t appear to provide them with much advantage at the moment.

In short, it appears American and European taxpayers are paying for the destruction of Ukraine and the elimination of huge numbers of its inhabitants, so that technocrat globalists and central bankers can then profit from the privatization and rebuilding of Ukraine into a “smart country” model for the rest of the world.