People at the highest levels of Ukraine’s government are lining their pockets with cash as U.S. taxpayers prepare to fund yet another year of that nation’s war against Russia, an adviser to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
Time magazine published a lengthy story on Monday about reporter Simon Shuster’s recent visit to the war-torn country in which he shared insights he said he gained into the morale of those leading Ukraine nearly two years after Russia invaded it.
According to an unnamed senior adviser to Zelenskyy, people at the top are “stealing” like there is no tomorrow and Ukraine’s president faces pressure to root out corruption as its allies continue to give the country everything it asks for.
Shuster followed Zelenskyy back to Ukraine after he and his closest advisers visited the U.S. in September.
He commented that Ukraine’s president “can feel during his travels that global interest in the war has slackened. So has the level of international support.”
The reporter also spoke to an adviser who said that in spite of some internal housecleaning in the Zelenskyy Cabinet, theft is rampant.
“Amid all the pressure to root out corruption, I assumed, perhaps naively, that officials in Ukraine would think twice before taking a bribe or pocketing state funds,” Shuster wrote.
“But when I made this point to a top presidential adviser in early October, he asked me to turn off my audio recorder so he could speak more freely. ‘Simon, you’re mistaken,’ he says. ‘People are stealing like there’s no tomorrow.’”
While Zelenskyy fired numerous Defense Ministry officials this year to change a perception that corruption was widespread, the adviser told Shuster that people behind the corruption did not “feel any fear” about facing consequences for misusing government funds as Ukraine relies on international aid.
Shutter added, “By the time [Zelenskyy] acted ahead of his U.S. visit, ‘it was too late,’ says another senior presidential adviser. Ukraine’s Western allies were already aware of the scandal by then.
“Soldiers at the front had begun making off-color jokes about ‘Reznikov’s eggs,’ a new metaphor for corruption. ‘The reputational damage was done,’ says the adviser.”
Read the full story @TIME. https://t.co/purXuqm07E In the coming weeks, look out for more dispatches going deeper into Ukraine’s military strategy, its wartime diplomacy, and the tensions inside Zelensky’s team.
— Simon Shuster (@shustry) October 30, 2023
Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov resigned in September in what Reuters referred to as a “wartime shakeup” of Zelenskyy’s Cabinet.
Reports that people in the Ukrainian government are “stealing” come as President Joe Biden and U.S. lawmakers face pushback from taxpayers about their blank check policy toward funding a war with no end in sight.
According to CNN, Congress had approved $113 billion for Ukraine as of Sept. 21.
Lawmakers have not tracked the funds once they have been disbursed, which has sparked calls for transparency regarding exactly what U.S. taxpayers are going further into debt for.
The United States was $33.7 trillion in debt as of Tuesday, according to the U.S. Debt Clock.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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