by James Billot
Monday, 8
August 2022
Spotted
16:45

Reports on Ukrainian corruption start to resurface

Western outlets and politicians are becoming more strident in their criticism
by James Billot
Volodymyr Zelenskyy is facing renewed criticism over corruption in the army. Credit: Getty

Three days. The publication of a CBS report ‘Arming Ukraine’ lasted three days before it was taken down for quoting an NGO worker who said that only 30% of western aid was reaching the frontlines of Ukraine. According to the network, the NGO worker gave this assessment in late April, insisting that delivery had since improved. Now the documentary is being ‘updated’ to reflect this new information.

Despite the backlash against CBS, there has been a slow but perceptible shift in discussing topics that were once considered verboten. This weekend, the head of Amnesty International’s Ukraine office resigned in protest at the release of a report claiming that Ukrainian forces were ignoring international law by exposing civilians to Russian fire. Amnesty stated that it regretted the “distress” caused by the report, but has (unlike CBS) stood by it.

There have also been a growing number of reports on Ukrainian corruption — a sensitive issue that many turned a blind eye to after the invasion. In addition to the CBS documentary, German newspaper Die Welt has published extracts from a biography on Zelenskyy detailing “corruption on an industrial scale” over offshore deals while the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman wrote in his most recent column:

There is deep mistrust between the White House and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine — considerably more than has been reported. And there is funny business going on in Kyiv.

On July 17, Zelensky fired his country’s prosecutor general and the leader of its domestic intelligence agency — the most significant shake-up in his government since the Russian invasion in February. It would be the equivalent of Biden firing Merrick Garland and Bill Burns on the same day. But I have still not seen any reporting that convincingly explains what that was all about. It is as if we don’t want to look too closely under the hood in Kyiv for fear of what corruption or antics we might see, when we have invested so much there. (More on the dangers of that another day.)

- Thomas Friedman, NYT

It is rare for Friedman — who was once invited to discuss Ukraine at the White House over a chocolate milkshake — to diverge from the Biden administration on foreign policy matters. Indeed, the White House has been voicing similar concerns, particularly after Zelenskyy fired his prosecutor general and intelligence chief. “Russia’s war against Ukraine poses an external threat,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price, “but corruption poses an internal threat, and the threat that corruption poses can be corrosive to democracy, to sovereignty, to the freedoms that the people of Ukraine so desperately wish to retain”. As an Associated Press article noted at the time, these dismissals cast “an inconvenient light on an issue that the Biden administration has largely ignored since the outbreak of war with Russia”. 

Though the US and Western allies remain firmly committed to supporting Ukraine, cracks are slowly starting to appear. With a new $1 billion aid package expected to be announced this week, the Biden administration will be facing heightened scrutiny as to where this money is going. Yet according to the now-deleted documentary, nobody knows. “There are like power lords, oligarchs, political players,” one NGO worker says. “The system itself, it’s like, ‘We are the armed forces of Ukraine. If security forces want it, well, the Americans gave it to us.’ It’s power games all day long”.

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James Stangl
James Stangl
1 month ago

Indeed rich for the State Department to be just noticing possible corruption, when Biden himself and his ne’er do well son have been up to their eyeballs in funny business in Ukraine.
I’m no fan of Putin or his aggressions, but I wonder if Biden’s handlers and the EU are starting to realize that 1) Russia has the capacity to outlast the Ukes in any war of attrition, and 2) Putin has the upper hand in terms of using oil and gas as a weapon against Europe. This may be the beginning of spin doctoring by our so-called “leaders” before the you-know-what hits the fan, and Ukraine is left to twist in the wind.

martin logan
martin logan
1 month ago
Reply to  James Stangl

Very unlikely.
If you actually use something called “evidence,” Russia has made almost no territorial gains in the last two months. Ukraine on the other hand is closing in on Kherson–so much so that the Russians have had to send troops to bolster their forces there.
This war will be won or lost on the battlefield. Russia increasingly cannot maintain its level of soldiers. And those that do join are untrained and unready for battle.
Wait until the Ukrainians make their move. Then we will see what happens.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

I am praying for the Ukrainian people and hope they prevail. Imagine if the US had failed to help Europe during World War II.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 month ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

What, how much better things would be?

Bill Anderson
Bill Anderson
1 month ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Yeah we would all have been financially better off.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Imagine if the US hadn’t failed yo ‘help’ Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Panama, Grenada, Israeli occup. Palestine and Ukraine in 2008. All those places would have suffered terrible peace and 5 million innocent people wod still be alive instead incinerated by US weapons.

John Burke
John Burke
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

The Ukraine is not closing in on Kherson. The offensive had been cancelled. Whether its because Russians had reinforced their units, or the missile/artillery barrage they had been throwing at the Ukrainian units had made them ineffective. Oh and the Russians are actually attacking on a salient aimed directly at Mykolaiv (on the way to Odessa).

James Stangl
James Stangl
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

Maybe. But even though Russia botched its initial offensive, they have lots and lots of artillery, and a very long history of knowing how to use it to progressively obliterate an adversary. And they have a larger population than Ukraine to draw conscripts from. Ask the Germans (cf: WW2).

And flip your point about “no gains for the past two months:” Russia still firmly controls the eastern provinces. Where has Ukraine made any headway? It’s a war of attrition right now, something that the Russians do pretty well.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  James Stangl

Russia had a lot of artillery, but there is some evidence Russia is running low of ammunition. And it looks like Ukraine is switching to hit and run operations behind the Russian lines.

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Smith

“there is some evidence Russia is running low of ammunition.”

I’d be interested to see the evidence, friend.

All I know is that Russian industrial capacity is on a war footing and they have a literally endless capacity to produce more materiel.

This RUSI article is very interesting on this point :
https://www.rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/return-industrial-warfare

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Smith

Yeah: the terrier is nipping at the bear’s heels. My money is still on the bear though. If Napoleon and Hitler came off second best (in the long run) against unlimited Russian resilience, then I don’t fancy Ukraine for this one.
Russia is being weakened at half the rate the US is weakening and at a quarter the rate the EU is being weakened. In every sense Russia is winning..
Every military strategist knows you cannot win a war without boots (and tanks and artillery) on the ground.. Ukraine is exhausted. I too feel deeply for the innocent in this appalling war. The more modern the war the more civilians suffer! In the good old days soldiers fought and died in the wilderness: now they bring vast numbers of innocent civilians with them.

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

Hahahahahahahahaha.

You’re funny, man.

Gandydancer x
Gandydancer x
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

You are delusional. Still thinking the “Ghost of Kyivy” wasn’t a hoax?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  James Stangl

When the US hawks figure Putin has been weakened enough they will slowly turn off the taps and let the Ukrainians fend for themselves: ala Afghanistan. The EU will rethink its stance when the winter freezes Germany et al. We will then have maybe one more year of slaughter: and Russia will take over all of Ukraine. All neighboring states will be told by Putin to leave NATO or else! Then a compromise will be reached, a million Ukrainians later.

James Stangl
James Stangl
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It does beg the question of whether NATO et al. forgot to “count the cost” of a proxy war with Russia. An embargo of Big Macs and iPhones to Russia doesn’t have quite the same effect as a gas and oil embargo to the EU.

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 month ago
Reply to  James Stangl

Our leader are either stupid, cowardly or corrupt.

Or a combination of all three.

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

i. Putin is not being weakened by Ukraine. Quite the opposite. Lavrov is feted by non-aligned nations everywhere he goes these days, in case you hadn’t noticed. For example, Turkey and Iran drawing closer to Russia must give Washington and London the heebee-jeebees, particularly as Turkey is in NATO;
ii. Russia doesn’t want “all of Ukraine”. It wants Novorossiya. Which will leave a landlocked rump Ukrainian state, broken, defeated, indebted, landlocked and seething with Right Sector fascists. The EU is welcome to them.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 month ago
Reply to  James Stangl

There are many problems for the West with allowing Russia to conquer Ukraine.
For a start it doesn’t solve any of energy and cost of living issues.
It does not provide long term security for the West because there is no guarantee that Russia will stop at Ukraine.
You just need to read Putins speeches and look at Russian demands towards NATO.
There are no historical examples of appeasement policy working when faced with genocidal aggressor.
The recent example of appeasing Hitler by allowing him conquest of Czechoslovakia did not end well, did it?
In wider geopolitical terms, i don’t see any upside for the West in allowing Russia to be successful either militarily or economically.
Even from cynical perspective what is wrong with supporting Ukraine financially and militarily?
Cost is relatively low, especially in comparison to idiocy of covid policies, and war bleeds Russia and makes her weaker.
If Ukrainians want to fight for their country and kill Russians, why is it a problem for the West?
If they want to surrender or compromise with Russia it is their call.

Last edited 1 month ago by Andrew F
Andrew F
Andrew F
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew F

I forgot to add that Russia appeasers here and on other forums never provide any answer to a simple question:
What is the final line which Russia cannot cross before NATO responds?
Attack on Baltic States, Poland, Finland?
Another question they can not answer is why neutral countries like Sweden and Finland joined NATO?

Lance Sjogren
Lance Sjogren
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew F

An honest observer concludes that both Putin and the Ukrainian government are evil and corrupt. A stooge asserts that one is good and the other is evil.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  Lance Sjogren

Irrelevant. You are supposed to be responding to the previous point. So what is your response to his question ?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Lance Sjogren

So because Ukraine has a problem with corruption compared to some countries in the west (although it seems pretty par for the course in 3/4 of the world) that means they’re as bad as Putins Russia and deserve to have their cities levelled and civilians shelled in their beds?

Jeanie K
Jeanie K
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

As David Cameron told the Queen when he was PM:
“Ukraine is the most corrupt country in Europe”

keith gibson
keith gibson
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeanie K

Er, you mean after Italy….

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 month ago
Reply to  keith gibson

No – Italy are amateurs compared to Ukrainians.
Ukraine has the richest agricultural soil in the world, rare earths, vast amounts of coal, natural gas, sea ports, iron ore and yet STILL had a per capita GDP 1/3 that of Russia.
Yes, Russia is 3 times more wealthy than dirt poor Ukraine.
It’s industrial-scale corruption that is keeping Ukraine poor.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Johnston

…before being flattened you mean. Obviously that doesn’t help either. Also good money in reselling modern weapons to even more corrupt buyers. Keep ’em coming lads: there’s a great profit to be made.. keep a few of course to keep the Russians at bay. Corrupt politicians, bankers, weapon manufacturers and the terrorists that buy ’em are all winners.. what’s a few hundred thousand expendable lives when there’s huge profit in it for the hawks and shysters?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeanie K

..which is why Hunter Biden favoured doing business there!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Italy is not corrupt: it just stretches the rules a good bit. We in Ireland call that flexibility not corruption. Rules for fools mere guides to the wise. If the Brits learned that no need for Brexit.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Maybe Brits have a bit more dignity and decorum than the Irish, and have a belief in people playing by the rules.
I’d expect nothing less from the Irish though, a cowardly nation who refused to fight the N*sis and signed a book of condolence fir H*tler.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

No.. their crime was and is to persecute the Russian speaking Donbas population for 8 years using the N*azi Azov thugs to engage in a genocidal attacks on those people (who rightly refused to accept the overthrow of the former, democratically pro-Russian Ukrainian leader + the coup that installed Zelinsky) – a bit like the US Jan 6th coup except it failed while the Ukraine coup succeeded. If Jan6th had succeeded would it be OK to have had a military incursion into Washington DC from States not sympathetic to a Trump dictator especially if the persecution of ‘enemies’ followed eg Pelosi and Spence hanged as planned? And what if the whole thing was formented by a Russian backed Mexico..
Yeah: I know: unlikely scenario but you gotta see this whole thing in context.. try it on for size in the US itself: see how you’d react when it’s closer to home!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Lance Sjogren

Right and wrong on all sides: well not on absolutely ALL sides: the side that consists of innocent civilians: mothers, children, wives etc. Ukrainian and Russian are largely innocent of any wrongdoing and will suffer greatly.
The hawks on all sides are the polar opposite: they will suffer little and are all evil b*stards: Russian, Ukrainian and US/Nato.
I suggest we dig a large pit and put every deeply involved general, politician and weapons manufacturer (and banksters in support) into it and let them fight it out, with knives. With any luck none of them will emerge!

Jeanie K
Jeanie K
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Sweden & Finland have applied to join NATO because the American govt (ie their military/industrial complex) have encouraged them. It enables them to have a form of defence at the cost of the American taxpayers.
To reverse the question;
What would be the final line which NATO(USA) cannot cross before Russia responds?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeanie K

There is no line beyond those as they all border Russia. The nuclear threat will hold the line if the insane hawks don’t go rogue! If they do it’s goodnight y’all!

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Russia will not set foot outside Ukraine unless there is a MAJOR provocation, like the Balts start lobbing NATO bombs towards St Petersburg or a full blockade of Kalingrad. It is FAR more likely that NATO will provoke a Russian response than the other way around.
I don’t believe either Sweden or Finland have joined NATO yet, and it may not happen due to either a Turkish veto or popular will. But if they do, it will be because of misplaced fear of Russian aggression towards them. If Russia had wanted to invade Finland, it would have done it long ago.

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew F

One question YOU can’t answer is why Finland, a non-NATO member hasn’t been touched by Russia for the last 50 years.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Johnston

It’s because it DIDN’T threaten to do so nor did Finnland set a bunch of genocidal N*zi thugs against Russian speaking Finns in the east (not sure if there are any btw? but necessary too provide a realistc answer.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew F

The answer to your question is akin to the nuclear deterrent ie MAD. It will be suicidal because the losing side will use nukes.. its about restraint on BOTH sides.. It’s tricky: at best a standoff and cold war: at worst? We don’t want to know..

Lizzie Scott
Lizzie Scott
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Ukraine is not a NATO member

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 month ago

Wait, you mean Eastern European countries that transitioned suddenly from communism to oligarchic capitalism just 30 years ago and have largely been run as proxy states of the Western powers since might not be squeaky clean? Who knew!

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago

Quite.
It will take at least one generation to get the corruption out of these countries. And in some cases longer – there was plenty of corruption in some of these countries before their enslavement as Soviet vassal states. Some of this is certainly cultural.
However, there is no path to freedom and rule of law for countries that remain under Russian subjugation. However bad and imperfect the Ukrainian regime is right now (and I don’t claim to have any real insight into this), there is at least hope that it will improve. Versus no hope if we do nothing.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

Nah: no hope.. it’ll either be US backed corruption or Russian backed corruption. Sovereignty is not a real option for Ukraine, sadly.

Jeanie K
Jeanie K
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

But, a country doesn’t lose its sovereignty just because it is ruled by another country or power. Just ask all those who voted “remain” in the 2016 referendum.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeanie K

For a country to be 100% sovereign it would have to use it’s own currency, be non aligned and import and export nothing. Otherwise it has to be beholden to some other country/ies. If they’re big powerful countries you can forget your 100% sovereignty and settle for much less.
If your white, Christian and have no scare resources (esp no oil or lithium) you will do much better than oil-rich brown-skinned, Islamic countries. In the latter situation you’ll need a huge army, fanatical resolve and ideally nuclear weapons to retain any degree of sovereignty at all!
Ask Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran?
And even Saudi Arabia (sickest regime on the planet after the Zionist apartheid regime) both of whom benefit enormously only because they do the bidding of the US.
I’m not sure if genocide in Yemen and Palestine is at the behest of the US or just tolerated so that dirty weapons can be supplied to assist US weapons industry and it’s bankster supporters?

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
1 month ago

It’s not the fault of the Ukrainian people that they have corrupt officials. They are victimized by both sides. The least we could do is help them to survive this unprovoked assault on their lives. Also, Britain has been far from “squeaky clean”, yet the USA helped them fight off the Germans in WWII.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

I have to disagree there. Large scale corruption only persists because the population as a whole either actively or passively accepts it. It is partly cultural. Of course, there is always a large percentage of people who are blameless victims. But don’t underestimate the number of people who take the easy (short term) option of collaboration with oligarchs/mafia/Securitate/etc.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

In a free election the electorate get the government it deserves and wants!

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

This just isn’t true.
It’s simply impossible for a forester in Zakarpattia to vote to remove the corrupt elite in Ukraine.
Look at Zelensky – totally the creation of the oligarchs. Who continue to support him as long as he does their bidding.
War is good for oligarchs. Not so good for the forester, who’s currently sitting in a trench in the Donbas getting bombed.
The Russians have an expression – A tsar wields his sword and a peasant loses their head.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

The Russian invasion of Ukraine was NOT unprovoked! Maybe it wasn’t justified (but even that’s arguable). If Russia armed Mexico and Mexico attacked its American residents would the US stand idly by?

E. L. Herndon
E. L. Herndon
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Exactly. Outside of the “wine moms” set, and the denizens of DC-on-the-Cloaca Maxima, most Americans don’t want to see money, arms, and possibly lives, being off-shored to prop up a weak proposition within another superpower’s sphere of influence. We feel sorry for the ordinary people. No matter who wins a war, the civilians are always the losers. But as for being exhorted to support this conflict and the shady Mr. Zelensky, “Not my circus. Not my monkey.”

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 month ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

I have no criticism of the Ukrainian people at all, Penny. You’re right; it’s not their fault.

Ryszard Legutko (former Polish MP who was there for the communist collapse and aftermath) wrote a great book called “The Demon in Democracy” that chronicles how the deposed Communists syphoned off state owned enterprises to their families and became the now corrupt oligarchic capitalists, with the active support of Western bankers and corporations who were salivating at lending money and selling stuff to materially deprived Eastern Europeans.

It’s their fault. And in large part, it’s our (the West’s) fault as well.

nil hammerstrumm
nil hammerstrumm
1 month ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

“yet the USA helped them fight off the Germans in WWII.” Yes, but Americans seem to use that fact as if they are the noblest of the selfless noble. But they refused repeatedly to help the UK despite its desperate situation, and if Hitler had not begun attacking American merchant vessels with his “Wolfpack” submarines on the US Eastcoast, provoking the USA into war with Germany, who knows what may have happened.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 month ago

You cant compere Ukraine with Central and Eastern European countries handed to the Soviet in 1945. Ukraine fell to the Bolshevik armies in 2922. Those thirty years make a very big difference. Just compare Ukraine with Poland. Ukraine is the poorest and most corrupt country in Europe. Poland, Czechia and the Baltic States are success stories. Even Romania and Bulgaria are miles more successful than Ukraine.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Ukraine is an immensely rich country in many spheres. You can bet on that: why do you think the US is so “supportive”?

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 month ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

I thought Hungary was the most backward, corrupt, hellish place in Eastern Europe. Ukraine is supposedly a pastoral Eden where lions and lambs laid down together in peace until those angry Russians screwed it all up.

Sorry, Anna, but I just couldn’t resist. 🙂 Honestly, outside of Hungary, I don’t know enough about the details of Eastern Europe to critique relative levels of corruption. It may well be as you say; it certainly makes sense.

Last edited 1 month ago by Brian Villanueva
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago

There’s clean (some states) and squeeky clean (no state) so it’s a question of degree. The US seems to have a preference for corrupt states! Afghanistan, Iraq, Panama, Vietnam etc. When they aren’t corrupt enough the US is really good as helping them along the way to corruption. ‘Good money to be made in corrupt states!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago

If you identify a squeeky clean country let us know. They are all corrupt: just some more than others.

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
1 month ago

Admittedly, forecasting is a hazardous business, but here goes …
Prediction: The Brandon Administration will keep throwing money at Ukraine until the midterm elections. After that, the Americans will pressure the regime in Kiev to cut a deal with the Russians.
The best aspect of this prediction is that it is testable. So, now we wait, comfortably ensconced in our home offices, far from the front lines, as body counts on all sides continue to creep upward …

martin logan
martin logan
1 month ago

More likely the Ukrainian regime will pressure Russia to get out of Donbas.
I don’t think most people realize how weak Russia really is. They simply default to what they think they remember about the Soviets.
No significant gains in 2 months shows their offensive has completely run out of steam, and can never start up again.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

I agree. Even the Soviets failed to win a war against Afghanistan. And whether Ukrainian officials are corrupt or not, we have an obligation to help the Ukrainian people who are the true victims of this war.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Nobody but Nobody ever won a war against the Afghans! Not Alexander the Great nor Imperial Britain nor the mighty Soviets nor the invincible American Empire. Like Cool Hand Luke if the buggers won’t stay down you can’t claim victory..

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 month ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Anyone who thinks this Russian army bears any resemblance to the one that went into Afghanistan is simply misinformed.
Go take a look at the battlefield scenes posted on twitter and youtube and compare how well EVERY Russian soldier is kitted out and compare it to the poor Ukrainians, who are mostly dressed in rags.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

Martin, whilst I usually agree with you, I suspect that the Donbas (and Luhansk) is gone and will soon be annexed by Russia. Russia will be inheriting a semi-populated wasteland where anyone with any talent has long since departed.
I suspect that the US and EU would not be unhappy with a stalemate on the current lines – provided it is stable and durable (a massive “if”). But Russia’s hope of demilitarising Ukraine is gone forever. No one (no one who matters that is) has any trust in the Russians.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

The bear is indeed wounded but don’t underestimate its tenacity! Hitler and Napoleon did to their cost.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

They invaded Russia to destroy it. Putin is destroying Russia by invading other countries. Big difference.

Once it’s weak enough as a result of this daft war, the non-NATO countries surrounding Russia will start feasting on its corpse.

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

There is FAR more chance that Poland take Galicia and Hungary take Zakarpattia once Ukraine loses the war than that any EU country takes one single inch of Russian land.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Nice try but pie in the sky. The Russians are invincible.. in the long run. It’s the anti-Russian forces/countries that are suffering, all of them. Never ever underestimate the resilience of the Russians..

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

Who is “no one” ?
The Africans seem to. China’s friendship has “no limits”. Iran is getting smoochy smoochy. Turkey has just renewed it’s alliance vows. Venezuela and Colombia are currently doing military exercises with Russia.
Who precisely is this “no one” of which you write ?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Johnston

..you seem to be counting brown skinned and black skinned and even non-Christian countries? That’s not allowed. They don’t count! Lol!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

I hope you’re right but I fear you are mistaken..
Never underestimate Russia: the bear is a persistent b****r! Ask Hitler or ask Napoleon..

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 month ago

The problem for Ukraine now is that there is no incentive for Russia to accept Ukraine suing for peace.
They are mashing Ukraine up on the battlefield, and could be forgiven for thinking that their own losses now justify taking the whole of Novorossiya, including Odessa, Kharkhov and Dneiprpetrovsk.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Johnston

Agreed. Very difficult for Putin to claim any kind of victory by merely annexing the Donbas (and even Crimea).. the Black Sea is the real prize.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
1 month ago

A bit rich for an Administration headed by Hunter Biden’s father to complain about industrial scale corruption in Ukraine. Of course Ukraine is corrupt. If the West has decided to discover this now, that is just a pretext for letting Russia have its way. That may seem the more painless option for the West now. But not ultimately.

martin logan
martin logan
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Ukraine is corrupt because it adjoins Russia–one of teh most corrupt nations on the planet.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

These people don’t care if Ukraine is corrupt or not – they just don’t want to “waste” money on helping them. They have no empathy for the Ukrainian people, who clearly made a mistake by trusting the West and agreeing not to have nuclear weapons.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

But it seems the West pulled all of the Ukrainian strings for many years past! I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the US loves doing business with corrupt states: the more corrupt the more they like it. If it’s not corrupt enough they are quite adept as helping it along the road to corruption.

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

After the Maidan coup, the US literally placed one of its citizens, a reputedly corrupt private equity “investor” in Ukraine to run the Finance Ministry. She had to be given a Ukrainian passport the day before taking office.
https://consortiumnews.com/2015/11/10/how-ukraines-finance-chief-got-rich/

Alison Sinton
Alison Sinton
1 month ago

Listening to Ursula von der Leyen today has me extremely worried. The unfounded belief that EU countries are going to support Germany and others with gas and oil when they are struggling themselves is wildly mistaken. Companies in Europe are already hoarding supplies. Who didn’t know that Ukraine is corrupt and that arms from America are flowing in there and disappearing? It needs to come to an end as quickly as possible or Europe will be an economic basket case.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 month ago
Reply to  Alison Sinton

‘Who didn’t know that Ukraine is corrupt and that arms from America are flowing in there and disappearing? ‘
Most of the media and the politicians, it seems. But the media and the politicians never seem to know anything.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  Alison Sinton

Europe was doing a great job making itself an economic basket case without any help from Ukraine. You are conflating two quite separate things here. Europe can fix its own problems and help Ukraine. But they lack the insight and will to do the former.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Alison Sinton

They’re not getting any of ours! They shafted us in 2008: now they want our support! Suck ut up Germany: if you want supporters you need to be supporterscas well!

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Thank God we left the EU or, like with the eurozone crisis, they’d find a way to make the UK pay billions to bail out German, Italian and French banks.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Johnston

What is it costing to bail out Ukraine? And what WILL it cost to rebuild it? You guys are in it up to your oxters: or will you walk away when you’ve finished testing your weapons and Ukrainian resolve just like you let the Afghans starve?

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 month ago
Reply to  Alison Sinton

I always thought a recession would be an undoing of the EU kumbaya movement. The EU is a fragile construction; nationalism and self-interest run strong. COVID strained it (border closings demonstrating how tenuous it really was). A cold dark winter may break it completely. Imagine Germany retaining all of the minimal Russian gas supply for its own industries, refusing to pass on any to the rest of Europe.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago

Wishful thinking there I’m afraid. The EU will survive. My advice is to look to the Armagedan that awaits the UK.. 13.5% inflation, shortages of everything, heating costs at €4,200 average per home. Hoping that we in the EU will follow is merely British schadenfreude.

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 month ago

Thanks for reporting these developments. I haven’t seen a hint of this story in other news outlets.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 month ago
Reply to  J Bryant

You need to check out the Duran podcast. Breaking Points has also covered it in recent weeks. But, as you say, you will not get any truthful or up to date information from the mainstream media.

Last edited 1 month ago by Fraser Bailey
Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott
1 month ago

Some time ago there was an article by Mary Dejevsky in which she said that the EU had an office in Kyiv which purpose was to show Ukraine how to control the fraud and corruption in the country. This was part of the process to take Ukraine into the EU.
Ironically this was around about the time that an EU commissioner described the scale of fraud in the EU as “Breathtaking”.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

Ukraine corruption was discussed at length in the Trump impeachment hearings.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
1 month ago

Once again the media shows its bias. The good can do no bad and the bad can do no good. Where are the Seymour Hershes in journalism who sniff out the things we need to know?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 month ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

For reliable information on Ukraine, the best source is probably The Duran podcast. I think they are too generous to Russia in many respects, but they do at least provide accurate and up to date assessments of what is happening ‘on the ground’.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

For balance I go to LaRouche and others.. the level of corruption in mainstream media is exemplified by its throwing Assange under a bus!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 month ago

It is almost comic as to how the British view Ukraine and the Ukrainians as some poor downtrodden bastion of democratic freedom.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago

Agreed: but the poor beggars didn’t deserve the onslaught that befell them! So the ordinary folk do need support. They’re not all corrupt, clearly: corruption by its nature requires victims! Usually their fellow countrymen.. just like all the other corrupt countries: no shortage of those!

Lance Sjogren
Lance Sjogren
1 month ago

Amnesty International: We apologize for the trauma caused by our telling the truth.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 month ago

The other question to ask concerning corruption is what proportion of the US aid packages actually leave the US.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago

…from that deduct the proportion sold on in thd black market by corrupt Ukrainians!

martin logan
martin logan
1 month ago

One might actually look at this analytically, rather than using it to impose one’s own fantasies about Europe on to the war
This looks far more like bad accounting in a crisis situation, rather than corruption. That only 30% supposedly made it to the front further suggests bottlenecks and mismanagement. To prove corruption requires proof that oligarchs are hawking HIMARs to Arab sheikhs–very doubtful, when Ukrainians can’t even get their grain out of Odesa.
The bottom line is: Putin wants to dominate Europe. Either we give in, or we defeat him. With some 80,000 Russian casualties so far, we are off to a very good start. That’s at least 25,000 Russian KIAs. The Russian army will never be as strong as it was on 24 Feb, and neither will Russia.
It’s very doubtful Putin can keep this up without mobilization. But if he does mobilize, he risks revolution. Few ethnic Russians are willing to die in Ukraine.
It’s what happens on the battlefield that matters.
The rest is smoke and mirrors.

Last edited 1 month ago by Martin Logan
Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

Someone who makes sense amidst a slew of armchair analysts.

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

“One might actually look at this analytically, rather than using it to impose one’s own fantasies…..”

You were sooooo well-meaning at the start. Shame that the rest of your comment is arrant tosh imposed by your own fantasies.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

On the one hand you say “Putin wants to dominate Europe” (not a snowball’s chance in hell – his no.1 weapon oil will be redundant asap) and then you go on to tell us how weak Russia is.. you can’t have it both ways!

M. M.
M. M.
1 month ago

James Billot wrote, “The publication of a CBS report ‘Arming Ukraine’ lasted three days before it was taken down for quoting an NGO worker who said that only 30% of western aid was reaching the frontlines of Ukraine.”

Most reports about Ukraine in the Western media omit mentioning the corruption and incompetence of the Ukrainians. The Ukrainians themselves also omit mentioning that their corruption and incompetence resulted in Ukraine’s lacking the resources to build an adequate military force, thus leading to Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s begging for weapons from the West.

How horrible is the corruption and incompetence? The gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of Ukraine in 2019 was actually less than the GDP per capita (at purchasing-power parity) in 1991. (See the reference.)

Ukraine is the Hispanic nation of Europe. Like the Hispanics (in Latin America), the Ukrainians refuse to admit responsibility for wrecking their own nation.

The current crisis in Ukraine is an opportunity for the German government to show leadership. Berlin should demand and obtain assurances (from Volodymyr Zelenskyy) that the Ukrainians will modernize their nation. If Zelenskyy refuses to provide these assurances, then Berlin should cease providing military or economic assistance to Ukraine.

Get info about another area in which Berlin can show leadership.

Last edited 1 month ago by Matthew M.
Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  M. M.

Crikey, MM’s even managed to shoehorn his ridiculous anti-Hispanic prejudices into Ukraine.
On the “corruption and incompetence” point: as with any competitive activity, you don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be better than the other guy. And it’s hard to top Russia for military corruption and incompetence.
“Berlin” is in no position to do anything. It’s hardly moving the needle on providing support to Ukraine anyway, so I doubt Zelensky cares.
The fantasy geopolitics in the comments section in these articles is just ludicrous.

Nick Bernard
Nick Bernard
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

Hi Peter, indeed the comments section of UnHerd used to be quite enjoyable and balanced and generally informative. Sadly the tidal wave of non sequitur bait from troll farms currently populating these comments makes it more of a parody tabloid.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 month ago
Reply to  M. M.

I don’t think you can blame a people who escaped from nearly a century of external Communist domination just a few decades ago for “wrecking their own nation.” Western bankers and corporations had a large hand in allowing former communists to “privatize” state owned industries and become oligarchic capitalists. The Ukrainian plebs got shafted (in that sense, much like the Latin American plebs you mentioned).

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 month ago
Reply to  M. M.

If you think the Comedian has ANY power to effect change in Ukraine, you probably also think the Kherson “Vogue” Offensive is real.
Zelensky went to the Donbas in 2019, shortly after being elected President, to beg Azov to stop lobbing missiles at the civilians of the Donbas. He was told to take a hike and was humiliated.
He has no power. Literally none.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Johnston

Agreed: if you look carefully you’ll see the puppet strings connected to his shoulders. The puppeteers are camouflaged but not very well..

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  M. M.

Latin America would have done a lot better if the US (esp the CIA) didn’t support every rotten corrupt upstart in South America! ..yes, and punish every decent, democratic regime that didn’t do the US’s corrupt bidding: right up to and including the murder of duly elected, progressive leaders!
Get real! The US and esp the Bidens had a significant part in corrupting Ukraine in the same way: eg the CIA/MI5 supported coup in 2008! Get real!

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
1 month ago

Yes, we’re getting bored lauding the ‘plucky Ukrainians’ now; time for the devaluation phase prior to forcing them into an humilating climbdown and the partioning of their country between Russia and the EU.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

…yes indeed: but lots more profiteering to be done before that! What’s a few hundred thousand Uke lives worth compared to the vast profits to be made by keep it going? No contest..

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Ah! Freedom and Democracy… how wonderful!

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
1 month ago

Ukraine is corrupt? I would never have guessed even though Hunter and Joe have been benefiting from Ukrainian corruption for several years.

Sam Notamillennial
Sam Notamillennial
1 month ago

This war has all the World’s most corrupt players in it.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 month ago

Anything on UnHerd involving Ukraine and its wonderful and successful liberation from self determination by the loving and friendly Russian peoples seems to attract much support to the Russia perspective and screaming criticism of the Ukrainians.

Why should this be, given that in the real world most folk support the Ukrainians and wish the Russians would take their troops home?

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 month ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Some just love Russia for whatever reason but others I think are contrarians, who mistrust any narrative in MSM supportive of any government policy.
I guess covid propaganda made many people suspicious of anything presented by governments in general.
Many are so called “realists” in foreign policy matters who think that allowing Ukraine to be swallowed by Russia is not big deal for the West and energy costs are more important than Ukrainian lives.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Balance? The vast majority feel Putin’s invasion was provoked but not justified.. Ukrainians are no saints! Mainstream media likes simple faery tales with heroes and villains: but reality is more nuanced.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 month ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

You can support the Ukrainians and think the Russian troops should go home and still realize that Ukraine is a horribly corrupt place, not the bastion of liberty and democracy it is so often painted as these days.

Similarly, you can believe that the invasion is on Vladimir Putin’s head, but still acknowledge that NTO’s Eastward lurch had a huge hand in bringing him to that point.

Two things can be true at the same time.

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 month ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

What is this “real world” of which you speak ?

From where I sit, the only cheerleaders of this war are the UK, US, Canada, the Balts and the Visegrad Four.

That’s 10 countries out of 200.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Johnston

..but ‘you see the other 290 don’t count: most are brown skinned or black skinned and many aren’t even christians!
Btw I use a small c as no true Christian would support any of this mayhem.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

..alternatively, there’s the non simplistic, non black and white more balanced view. If you look a little harder you’ll see a lot of that as well: obviously not enough pro Ukraine since mainstream media and hawkish politicians have already done a huge amount of that. No need to repeat it: it’s everywhere!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago

Anyone spot the similarity in:
Rumsfeldt’s funny business in Iraq followed by mayhem in Iraq.
Funny business between the US and Bin Laden before mayhem there.
Funny business with Noriega before mayhem in Panama.
Biden funny business in Ukraine before mayhem there starting with the 2008 coup.
Maybe it’s just coincidence and I’m a conspiracy theorist? Don’t think so though.. the US has form in formenting trouble.. usually it involves huge sums of money in oil, weapons, drugs and most recently mineral resources. It looks like the locals twig they’re being taken for a tide: baulk and renege and then suffer the consequences. Am I wrong?

0 0
0 0
1 month ago

We have no one in Washington or any NATO capital who knows how to win. On the day Putin invaded, NATO needed to launch the most massive bombing raid in history, carefully targeting: 1. The Iranian nuclear facilities and 2. Every boat in the Iranian navy. Then Japan should have moved its navy to a Northern Port under the name “Mission 1905.”
This would have ended the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Day 1 without firing a shot at any Russian, solved the Iranian nuke controversy, and made Taiwan safe for 25 years.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  0 0

You’re forgetting mobilising all the faeries, dwarves and hobbits aren’t you?

Johan Grönwall
Johan Grönwall
1 month ago

I don’t get that Unherd prints these pathetic troll products.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago

You should apply for the job of Troll Control in Unherd. I’m sure they’ll sign you up.

Man of Gwent
Man of Gwent
1 month ago

I’m sure there is corruption in Ukraine. There is corruption in any way zone. The alternative to a full throttle support for Ukraine isn’t worth contemplation.

We seem to have this mindset that we can only be allies with people who are above reproach. That’s a dangerous way of looking at international relations and one destined to leave you lacking allies when you need them.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago

Your credibility is shot as soon as you quote the Amnesty International report condemning Ukraine for defending itself.
On this basis Amnesty would have condemned the Jewish resistance in Warsaw for fighting the Germans in the rubble of the destroyed city, before they were all shipped off to the extermination camps.

Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

You do realise that one in four Jews that died in the Holocaust; died in Ukraine at the hands of the Ukrainians. Maybe, you also didn’t realise that 285’000 Ukrainians volunteered to join the German army and that they even had their own SS Division.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris Taylor

I do.. and the hero worship of the perpetrators continues to this day! The selection of a Jewish leader, Zelenskyy was a master stroke by US/UK coup controllers to wallpaper over that embarrassing fact!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

That must rank as the worst comparison I’ve ever read!