On Wednesday, Seymour Hersch, an investigative journalist, published a report on Substack alleging that the CIA is aware of large-scale corruption in Kyiv and the embezzlement of U.S. aid.
Hersh’s report notes that the Ukrainian government has been using U.S. tax dollars that have been provided to Kyiv in the form of aid to purchase diesel from Russia in order to fuel its military, as reported by Zerohedge.
Hersh’s report alleges that 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.”
According to an estimate by CIA analysts, at least $400 million worth of funds were embezzled last year alone. Hersh was also told by sources that Ukrainian officials are “competing” to establish front companies for export contracts to private arms dealers globally.
In January, the CIA finally breached the topic of corruption with Zelensky during a meeting between CIA Director William Burns and the Ukrainian president, according to Hersh’s report.
The report states, “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.'”
In addition to discussing the issue, Burns provided Zelensky with a list of 35 generals and other top government officials whose corruption was known to the agency. The Ukrainian leader responded by completely dismissing the blatant corruption of 10 officials.
According to an intelligence official who served as a source for Hersh’s report, “The ten he got rid of were brazenly bragging about the money they had – driving around Kiev in their new Mercedes.”
According to Hersh’s report, Zelensky’s “half-hearted response” and the “lack of concern” in the Biden White House angered some U.S. intelligence officials. Hersh’s intelligence source criticized Joe Biden’s two top foreign policy advisors, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
The official told Hersh, “They have no experience, judgment, and moral integrity. They just tell lies, make up stories. Diplomatic deniability is something else.” The source went on to add that there was a “total breakdown between the White House leadership and the intelligence community.”
According to the report, the separation began in the fall when the Nord Stream pipelines were sabotaged. While Biden ordered the operation to blow up the pipelines, according to the intelligence official, “Destroying the Nord Stream pipelines was never discussed, or even known in advance, by the community.”
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The official went on to say that the Biden administration has “no strategy for ending the war” before continuing to criticize Blinken and Sullivan.
“Burns is not the problem. The problem is Biden and his principal lieutenants – Blinken and Sullivan and their court of worshippers – who see those who criticize Zelensky as being pro-Putin. ‘We are against evil. Ukraine will fight ’til the last military shell is gone, and still fight.’ And here’s Biden who is telling America that we’re going to fight as long as it takes,” the official concluded.
While Hersh’s report is a bombshell for many in the West who have blindly supported Ukraine and Volodymyr Zelensky, it comes as no surprise to those who know the whole story – the one that mainstream media often doesn’t tell.
Back in February 2022, French President Emmanuel Macron negotiated a peace agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which would have essentially formalized the 2014 Mink agreement with a few modifications. Zelensky turned down the agreement. Then, in April, another peace offering arrived in the form of a ceasefire between Zelensky and Putin, however, Britain’s Boris Johnson got involved and convinced Zelensky not to take the deal.
While Zelensky will tell the U.S. Congress, his Western allies, NATO, and the world that it’s because he is fighting against aggressive Russian expansion, the sad truth is that he and his top military and government officials are financially benefiting from driving the war forward, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives. Recall the intelligence official’s comments about government officials driving Mercedes through Kyiv.
Not only are Zelensky and his government using the war as an excuse to line their pockets, but they have even gone so far as to get the now-defunct FTX cryptocurrency exchange involved in the scheme. Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman Fried began collecting crypto donations on behalf of the Ukrainian Ministry of Finance, culminating in some $60 million, much of which was later laundered and funneled back to the Democratic Party, another corrupt organization that stands to benefit from the blight of never-ending war.
While it is nice to see the CIA finally acknowledging what others have seen and reported on for years, it seems to come as too little too late as the Biden administration has continued to staunchly refuse to support any type of peace accord with Russia for so long at this point that to change course would be to show weakness and vulnerability – a perception of the U.S. and its policies that has been growing on the global stage since Biden took office.
Meanwhile, as the war rages on and U.S. top officials continue to write blank checks to Kyiv, things are not at all going well for Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut, according to a CNBC report.
After months of heavy Russian presence and intense round-the-clock fighting, Ukrainian forces have finally begun to withdraw from some positions in Ukraine’s eastern city. Despite heavy casualties on both sides, Zelensky until recently, has adamantly refused to withdraw from the rubble of what was once Bakhmut, claiming that to do so would be to give Putin access to much more of eastern Ukraine.
While Bakhmut may be a strategically important city, it has cost Ukrainian forces dearly. Not only have Ukrainian troops burned through artillery munitions at such an alarming rate that U.S. troops were sent in to train the Ukrainians on fighting tactics, but it has also been reported that the casualty rate is so high that Ukrainian soldiers sent to the frontline in Bakhmut only survive an average of 4 hours upon their arrival.
As the West’s seemingly endless supply of military and financial aid begins to falter and after the Russian paramilitary group, Wagner, raised both its flag and that of Russia over the demolished remains of government buildings in Bakhmut’s city center last month, Zelensky appears to finally have recognized the battle for Bakhmut for what it has become for Kyiv – a lost cause.
Perhaps it will be enough to finally bring both Zelensky and Biden, to the negotiating table with Putin. Then again, it’s a matter of conscience over corruption and given that even the CIA couldn’t get Zelensky to admit his government’s faults, the Bakhmut withdrawal might only be a moment of lucidity in an otherwise endless shroud of greed.