Ukrainian President, entourage embezzled USD 400 million from fuel purchases aid: Report

14 April, 2023 | Pragati Singh

Ukrainian World

The US has been helping Ukraine since Russia started its special military operation on February 24, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his entourage embezzled at least USD 400 million sent to the country for the purchase of diesel fuel, according to Russian news agency TASS, citing the website of US Journalist Seymour Hersh.

On his website, Hersh, citing sources, claimed, “The Ukrainian president and many in his entourage have been skimming untold millions from the American dollars earmarked for diesel fuel payments. One estimate by analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency put the embezzled funds at USD 400 million last year, at least.” The level of corruption in Kyiv is “approaching that of the Afghan war, although there will be no professional audit reports emerging from Ukraine,” according to Hersh’s sources.

According to Hersh’s sources, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan are to blame for the ongoing crisis in the US government, which is said to be caused by a schism between the White House and the intelligence community.

According to RT, Russian Television, citing Hersh’s sources, the two top foreign policy officials have demonstrated “strident ideology and lack of political skill” in their handling of the Ukraine conflict. Since Russia launched its special military operation on February 24, 2022, the US has been assisting Ukraine.

The US announced last month that it will send Ukraine USD 350 million in weapons and equipment as the battle for control of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut with Russian forces continues.

“Today, pursuant to a delegation of authority from President Biden, I am authorising our 34th drawdown of U.S. arms and equipment for Ukraine valued at USD 350 million,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement issued by the US State Department on Monday.

“This military assistance package includes more ammunition for US-provided HIMARS and howitzers that Ukraine is using to defend itself, as well as ammunition for Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, HARM missiles, anti-tank weapons, riverine boats, and other equipment,” the statement read.

The US applauds the more than 50 countries that have banded together to support Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to the statement.

“This week, as Russia’s unconscionable war of aggression against Ukraine continues at a great human cost, we are again reminded of the boundless courage and steadfast resolve of the Ukrainian people, and the strong support for Ukraine across the international community,” Blinken said.

He added: “Russia alone could end its war today. Until Russia does, we will stand united with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

Meanwhile, according to a statement released by the US Defence Department, the US announced a new security package plan in February, including authorisation of a Presidential Drawdown of security assistance valued at up to USD 425 million, as well as USD 1.75 billion in Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) funds.

The package included USD 425 million from existing Defence Department stockpiles as well as USD 1.75 billion from Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funds. Since Russia began its military operation in Ukraine in February, the country has received USD 29.3 billion.