Hersh: CIA Knows Zelensky & Top Generals Are Skimming Hundreds Of Millions In US Aid
Sy Hersh: Zelensky’s Pocketing Our Money!
From Indian media
Ukraine’s President Zelensky Accused of Embezzling Western Aid Money
Hersh: CIA Knows Zelensky & Top Generals Are Skimming Hundreds Of Millions In US Aid
Authored by Dave DeCamp via AntiWar.com,
On Wednesday, Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published a report on Substack that alleged the CIA was aware of widespread corruption in Ukraine and the embezzlement of US aid.
The report said the Ukrainian government has been using US taxpayer money to purchase diesel from Russia to fuel its military. Hersh said 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.”
Hersh said according to one estimate by CIA analysts, at least $400 million in funds were embezzled last year. Sources told Hersh that Ukrainian officials are also “competing” to set up front companies for export contracts to private arms dealers around the world.
The issue of corruption was raised during a meeting between CIA Director William Burns and Zelensky in January. An intelligence official with direct knowledge of the meeting told Hersh that Burns delivered a stunning message to Zelensky.
Hersh wrote: “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.’“
During the meeting, Burns presented Zelensky with a list of 35 generals and senior government officials whose corruption was known to the CIA. Zelensky responded by dismissing 10 officials who were engaged in flagrant corruption.
“The ten he got rid of were brazenly bragging about the money they had—driving around Kiev in their new Mercedes,” the intelligence official said.
Hersh said Zelensky’s “half-hearted response” and the “lack of concern” in the White House angered some US intelligence officials. The intelligence official speaking to Hersh criticized President Biden’s two main foreign policy advisors, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
“They have no experience, judgment, and moral integrity. They just tell lies, make up stories. Diplomatic deniability is something else,” the official said. The official said there was a “total breakdown between the White House leadership and the intelligence community.”
The report said the rift started in the fall when the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines were blown up. According to Hersh’s earlier reporting, President Biden ordered the operation that took out the pipelines. “Destroying the Nord Stream pipelines was never discussed, or even known in advance, by the community,” the official said.
On the war profiteers and the terrible fog of war
Reminding us mutiple truths always exist.
War inc is always pleased with endless war https://t.co/rKKxoZRjI2
— John Cusack (@johncusack) April 13, 2023
The official said there is “no strategy for ending the war” within the Biden administration and offered more scathing criticism of Blinken and Sullivan.
“Burns is not the problem,” the official said. “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.”
Hersh’s story comes after a series of leaked top-secret documents from the Pentagon and other government agencies surfaced online. Some of the documents show US war planning for Ukraine and reveal the US doubts Kyiv’s ability to launch a successful counter-offensive, offering a starkly different view of Ukraine’s abilities than what Biden officials have been saying publicly.
* * *
Meanwhile, for a deeper look at just who is propping up Ukraine’s budget to the tune of hundreds of billions, see more below…
This post first appeared on Seymour Hersh’s substack . Transition News has translated excerpts from it into German.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s government in Ukraine makes American taxpayers pay dearly for diesel fuel, which is essential to life. It is not known how much the Zelensky government pays per gallon for the fuel.
What is known: During the decades-long American war in Afghanistan, the Pentagon paid up to $400 a gallon to transport gasoline (…) to Afghanistan. What many don’t know either: Zelensky bought the fuel from Russia, i.e. from a country with which (…) the country is at war. (…)
Analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimate that at least $400 million in funds were embezzled in Ukraine last year. Another expert sees the level of corruption in Kiev as high as during the Afghan war, “although there will be no professional audit reports in Ukraine.”
“Zelensky bought cheap diesel from the Russians,” a knowledgeable American intelligence official told me. “And who pays for the gas and the oil? It’s us. Putin and his oligarchs make millions from it.”
Many ministries in Kiev have, I am told, literally “competed” to set up front companies around the world to negotiate arms and ammunition export deals with private arms dealers, with bribes flowing in plentifully.
Many of these companies are located in Poland and the Czech Republic. But there are also said to be companies in the Persian Gulf and in Israel. “It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that there are other companies in the Cayman Islands and Panama and that many Americans are involved,” an American international trade expert told me.
At a meeting in Kyiv between CIA Director William Burns and Zelensky in Kyiv in January, the problem of corruption was discussed. Burn’s message to the President of Ukraine could also have come from a 1950s mafia film. At least that’s what an intelligence agent who knew about the meeting told me.
Senior generals and government officials in Kyiv were angered by Zelensky’s greed because “he was siphoning off more money for himself and the generals had less,” Burns told Ukraine’s president.
Burns also provided Zelensky with a list of thirty-five generals and senior officials, all of whom were corrupt, known to the CIA and other members of the American government.
Zelensky responded to American pressure ten days later. He fired ten of the most conspicuous officials and did little else. “The ten he got rid of bragged about the money they had and drove around Kiev in their new Mercedes,” the intelligence official told me.
Zelenski’s half-hearted response and lack of concern from the White House are another sign of poor leadership. It led to a “total collapse” of trust between the White House and some parts of the intelligence community.
Another bone of contention I’ve heard repeated in my recent reporting is the strident ideology and lack of political savvy of Secretary of State Tony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
The president and his two top foreign policy advisors “live in different worlds” than the experienced diplomats, military and intelligence officers assigned to the White House: “They have no experience, no judgment and no moral integrity. They just tell lies and make up stories. Diplomatic deniability is something else, »said the secret service agent. “This must be done.”
A prominent retired American diplomat who vehemently opposes Biden’s foreign policy toward China and Russia has described Blinken as little more than a “hyped-up congressman” and Sullivan as a “political campaign manager.”
Both would now suddenly find themselves in the world of high-performance diplomacy. “Without empathy for the opposition. They’re decent politicians,” he added, “but now we’ve turned the political and energy world upside down. China and India are now selling refined gasoline to the western world. It’s just a business.”
The current crisis is not relieved by the fact that Putin is also acting irrationally. The intelligence official told me that everything Putin is doing in Ukraine “is contrary to Russia’s long-term interests. Emotions have overcome rationality. He does things that are totally unproductive. So, will we sit down with Zelensky and Putin and find a solution? No way.”
“There is a total break between the leadership of the White House and the secret services,” said the intelligence official. The rift dates back to the fall when, as I reported in early February, Biden ordered the covert destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea. “The destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines was never discussed nor was it known in advance by the community,” the official said.
«And there is no strategy for ending the war. The US spent two years planning for the Normandy invasion of World War II. What will we do if China decides to invade Taiwan?”
The official added that the National Intelligence Council has yet to commission a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Taiwan’s defense against China, which would provide national security and political guidance should such an event occur.
Despite repeated political provocations by US Democrats and Republicans, there is still no reason to believe that China intends to invade Taiwan. This is the official’s opinion.
The country has lost billions building its extremely ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to connect East Asia with Europe. Now, perhaps foolishly, it is investing in seaports around the world. “The point is,” the officer told me, that there is no longer a functioning NIE process. “Burns aren’t the problem,” the official said.
“The problem is Biden and his key lieutenants – Blinken and Sullivan and the entire court – who see those who criticize Zelensky as pro-Putin. We are against evil. Ukraine will fight until the last military shell is gone. And she will keep fighting. And here’s Biden telling America we will fight as long as it takes.”
The official noted that Biden has authorized the deployment of two brigades containing thousands of the American Army’s top combat units to the region. A fact that is little known and rarely discussed.
It is a brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division. She has been training and practicing intensively from her base in Poland, just a few kilometers from the Ukrainian border. It was reinforced late last year by a brigade from the 101st Airborne Division based in Romania.
Together with the administrative and support units (…) the actual strength of the two brigades could be more than 20,000. Intelligence officials told me that “there is no evidence that any senior White House official really knows what is happening to the 82nd and 101st Divisions. Are they there as part of a NATO exercise or to serve with NATO combat units if the West decides to attack Russian units in Ukraine? Are they there to train or to act as a trigger? The rules of engagement say they can’t attack the Russians unless our boys are attacked themselves.”
“But the younger ones are in charge here,” the official added. «There is no NSC coordination and the US Army is preparing for war. It’s not clear if the White House knows what’s going on. Did the President brief the American people on what was happening with a newscast? The only information the press and public are getting today comes from White House spokesmen.” “It’s not just bad leadership. There is none. Zero.”
The official added that a team of Ukrainian fighter pilots is now being trained here in America to fly US-built F-16 fighter jets. This is with the aim of flying if necessary in combat against Russian troops and other targets within Ukraine. A decision on such a deployment has not yet been made.
The clearest statements about American politics came not from the White House, but from the Pentagon. Army General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on March 15 of the war:
«Russia remains isolated. Its military stocks are rapidly depleting. Its soldiers are demoralized, untrained, unmotivated conscripts and convicts, and their leadership fails them. Having already missed its strategic goals, Russia is increasingly relying on other countries such as Iran and North Korea (…) These relations rest on the cruel bonds of oppressing freedom, subverting freedom and maintaining its tyranny. (…) Ukraine remains strong. She is capable and well trained. The Ukrainian soldiers are strong in their combat units. Their tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and armored vehicles will only reinforce the front line.”
There are signs Milley is as upbeat as he sounds. I am told that two months ago the chiefs of staff tasked members of the staff (…) with drafting a treaty ending the war to be presented to the Russians after their defeat on the battlefield of Ukraine.
If the undermanned and outgunned Ukrainian army comes under pressure in the next few months, will the two American brigades join forces with NATO troops and face the Russian army inside Ukraine?
Is this the plan or the hope of the American President? Is this the fireside chat he wants to have? If Biden decides to share his thoughts with the American people, perhaps he should explain what two fully equipped and supplied Army brigades are doing so close to the war zone.