Defense Department IG conducting investigation into corruption by Ukrainian government

I’m not sure how this slipped out of the White House PR department, but it’s an interesting side-story related to America’s seemingly endless flow of cash and weapons to Ukraine. 

It turns out that the Inspector General for the Defense Department has been conducting an investigation into potential corruption in the Ukrainian government. Particularly when it comes to all of the weapons and ammunition, one person from the IG office said that the DoD “is concerned about the potential diversion or legal export, or theft for that matter, of the goods.” 

And at least thus far, they’re reportedly having a difficult time tracking it all down. 

From Defense One:

As Ukraine fights off Russian invaders, it is also waging an internal battle against corruption and Western perception, say analysts, inspectors, and some Ukrainians.

The country’s history and the massive amount of aid it continues to receive put U.S. inspectors in a difficult position—working to uncover corruption in a country without American boots on the ground, and doing so without fueling the idea that Ukraine is inherently undeserving of aid.

“They acknowledge that they are fighting a two-front battle,” one senior official in the office of the Defense Department Inspector General told Defense One.

Allow me to take a rare opportunity to commend the Biden administration on something. This investigation wouldn’t have gotten off the ground without being approved at the highest levels. Some of us have been calling for a full inventory of everything we’ve been shipping to Kyiv since the start of the war and those requests have been largely ignored, or so it seemed. But once this work is completed, we’re going to need to have some transparency in terms of the results.

It’s not as if there hasn’t been cause for concern. While you rarely hear about it in America’s largely docile media, there have already been reports of American weapons somehow being “diverted” and ending up on the black market in Europe. These diversions potentially include systems as advanced as Javelin and Stinger missiles. Items like those don’t just magically disappear and somebody had to have gotten paid.

When it comes to corruption, another IG official said, “We just consider the risk high, no matter what.” Nobody should be fainting from shock over that remark. The Ukrainian government was infamous for corruption before Russia invaded. Joe Biden himself once bragged (on camera) about getting a Ukrainian prosecutor fired and threatening to withhold foreign aid to the country. (They claimed the prosecutor was corrupt and I’m sure it didn’t have anything to do with the fact that he was probably investigating… Hunter Biden.)

Just in January of this year, there were several high-ranking Ukrainian officials fired for lining their pockets with money intended to buy food for their troops. Even the White House and the New York Times (!) were forced to admit that was true, though the story dropped off of the front pages like a rock. But ask yourself one question in this regard. Those were just the people that they managed to catch. How many more of them were sufficiently clever to conceal their deeds?

I’ll just remind everyone once again that Zelensky’s reputation prior to the war was nothing to write home about until Vladimir Putin turned him into a rock star talking about he didn’t “need a ride.” Before the war, he threw his primary political opponent in prison and he shut down state media outlets that reported unfavorably about his administration. Just this January he signed a new law allowing the government to block news outlets online. If a bunch of our money goes missing, we have no right to act shocked.
Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher is the editor and publisher of High Plains Pundit. Dan is also the host of the popular High Plains Pundit Podcast.

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