According to the AFP, Ukraine has long been plagued by endemic corruption, including among the political elite, which has now made headlines as high-ranking officials resign.
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In what is being referred to as the biggest mass resignation and graft scandal since the Russian invasion started, the Ukrainian government on Tuesday confirmed the resignation of a number of high-ranking officials amid widespread corruption charges.
Following a major political upheaval caused by allegations and investigations into cases involving everything from bribery to the improper use of food aid funds to embezzlement to the use of luxury vehicles while the general populace is suffering during a time of war, a dozen officials have resigned from their positions.
In addition to these two defense officials, five regional governors were also removed from their positions, along with a senior presidential adviser and four deputy ministers. Additionally, regional governors in charge of the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson provinces, where Russian forces have recently reported gains, as well as other battle-torn areas, resigned.
International news sources explain the following list in relation to the declaration made by Oleg Nemchinov, a top government official:
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- Deputy Prosecutor General Oleskiy Symonenko
- Deputy Minister for Development of Communities and Territories Ivan Lukeryu
- Deputy Minister for Development of Communities and Territories Vyacheslav Negoda
- Deputy Minister for Social Policy Vitaliy Muzychenk
- And the regional governors of Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kyiv, Sumy, and Kherson
Separately, “the defense ministry had earlier announced the resignation of deputy minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov, who was in charge of the army’s logistical support, on the heels of accusations it was signing food contracts at inflated prices.”
Shapovalov is charged with entering into a contract with an unidentified, dubious company in this issue involving the food contracts. The most noteworthy and noticeable resignation was from his position as deputy defense minister. Importantly, he would have played a significant role in managing the billions of dollars in authorized defense aid flowing from the pockets of US and European taxpayers.
In what looks to be a plot to enrich the wallets of contractors and maybe involve bribes to himself, he bought military food at exorbitant costs.
As the defense ministry continues to try to describe it as a “technical error,” Politico examines the specifics of the scandal:
An exposé from the Ukrainian news website ZN.UA revealed last week that the defense ministry purchased overpriced food supplies for its troops. For instance, the ministry bought eggs at 17 hryvnias per piece, while the average price of an egg in Kyiv is around 7 hryvnias. According to ZN.UA, a contract for food procurement for soldiers in 2023 amounted to 13.16 billion hryvnias (€328 million).
According to accounts, this is two to three times more expensive than the going pricing for such food items. In his letter of resignation, Shapovalov explained that he is leaving so as “not to pose a threat to the stable supply of the Armed Forces of Ukraine as a result of a campaign of accusations related to the purchase of food services.”
There is also Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy leader of the Zelensky administration, who is charged with leading an extravagant life during the war. Some of the most important verifiable data are being buried in many recent mainstream media headlines on Tuesday. For example, BBC writes simply that “Tymoshenko was implicated in several scandals during his tenure, including in October last year when he was accused of using a car donated to Ukraine for humanitarian purposes.”
But beginning in early December, local Ukrainian media outlets confirmed that Tymoshenko drove high-end sports cars into and out of the capital, to and from mansions that typically range in price from millions to hundreds of millions of dollars. They were outraged by the posh lifestyle of Ukrainian leaders at a time when tens of millions are without power due to Russian aerial bombardment of the nation’s power grid.
The photos below were originally posted by The New Voice of Ukraine and were later picked up by Yahoo News. They depict Tymoshenko routinely driving a brand-new Porsche Taycan.
One site released a photo series by Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, dubbed “Not the “Martial Law”
The AFP states, “Ukraine has long suffered from endemic corruption, including among the political elite, but efforts to stamp out graft have been overshadowed by Moscow’s full-scale war that began in February,” as another example of Western MSM trying to downplay or soften this most recent wave of forced resignations related to graft. Yet throughout the battle, authorities like Tymoshenko were seen driving luxury sports cars through Kiev and the neighborhoods of oligarchs.
The AFP piece also has the following amusing and embarrassing statement: “Kyiv’s Western allies, who have allocated billions of dollars in financial and military support, have been pushing for anti-corruption reforms for years, sometimes as a precondition for aid.”
Over $100 billion in US defence and foreign aid has been given to Kiev’s coffers over the past year, from a government that has allegedly been “pushing anti-corruption reforms for years,” and now this from the centre of the Zelensky administration:
The debate has expanded beyond posh and pricey cars to include luxurious travel while Ukrainians endure the hardships of war at home. ” The departure of Symonenko, a deputy prosecutor general, comes after media reports that he spent a holiday in Spain this winter, reportedly using a car belonging to a Ukrainian businessman.” As a result of the incident, the government has reportedly prohibited high officials from taking vacations overseas.
Another official called Vasyl Lozynskiy was suspected of accepting bribes to “facilitate” the acquisition of generators at significantly increased rates just before the wave of resignations. Importantly, Lozynskiy would have had a direct role in managing the distribution of billions of dollars in Western infrastructure and humanitarian aid as the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Development.
As a result, mainstream media is now, rather belatedly, recognizing a reality that has long been known but would cause one to be “canceled” from public discourse if they tried to bring it up:
“Transparency International ranked Ukraine 122 out of 180 in its corruption ranking for 2021,” the AFP now writes (the second most corrupt in Europe, with Russia the most at 136.)
Oleksii Reznikov, the defense minister of Ukraine, is currently being investigated in connection with the scandal. Meanwhile, as news of the scandals makes headlines throughout the world…