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.
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.
58 thoughts on “Seymour Hersh: the CIA Knows Ukrainian Officials Are Skimming US Aid”
The big skimmers are sitting in Washington.
Before the war, Ukraine was known as being fabulously corrupt at the highest levels. They jailed a couple of Presidents.
Now, does war and a sudden flood of money usually promote an end to corruption, or does it usually aggravate any pre-existing corruption. Not just here, but everywhere everytime, what has always happened?
Remember that Harry Truman made his name and got FDR’s attention with the Truman Commission in the Senate, searching out corruption in the US mobilization for total war. He found plenty, and was an honest man cleaning up some of it. So what could we expect of Ukraine?
“They jailed a couple of Presidents” – it is not true. No Ukrainian president was ever jailed. There was an attempt to jail Poroshenko but it was declined by the court. A couple of Prime Ministers were jailed indeed but not the presidents.
They jailed Yulia Tymoshenko. but you are correct, she was Prime Minister rather than President.
They convicted their President Viktor Yanukovych, and sentenced him to 13 years, but he successfully stayed abroad and out of their hands.
On 20 December 2021, their President Petro Poroshenko faced 15 years, accused of state treason, aiding terrorist organizations and financing terrorism, for coal deals he’d done. However, he was “allowed to leave” while under investigation.
Yanukovych should go to prison for failing to protect the constitution and allowing Americans to install the puppet far-right regime which brought Ukraine to a catastrophe.
I agree. It was that soft-brained trust in Germany and France that clouded his vision. He signed the deal — svreed to new elections and withdrawing military from the streets. Those French and German foreign ministers did not make it to the airport when the well organized, west supported armed thugs broke into the Parliament and under gun — made delutirs vore a prepared list of laws. Representatives in Rada were under threat. Their families endangered. We actually do not even know what happened to many people in that chaos.
This was demicracy cowboy style. Lies. cheating, murdering. But sucessful.
The problem for the collective West is — nobody believes them any more. Lies are now greeted with laughter. Russia’s war crimes accussations — most of the world does not believe a word. Macron’s grandstanding and supposed independence — world will wait for a proof.
Such are the fruits of lies and deception.
Even if nobody believes them any more, bribes and blackmail are working good. By 2014 in Ukraine the oligarchy system was well established. All Ukrainian oligarchs either agreed with the coup, like the sponsor of Yanukovich, oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, or supported it actively, like sponsor of Zelensky, oligarch Kolomoisky. If Yanukovich wasn’t a corrupted and manipulatable man, he never would be the president in Ukraine; they could find someone else. Unfortunately, the oligarchy in the end costs very dear to the ordinary people. Lucky nations which could get rid of their oligarchs.
You’re blaming the victim.
That said, I’d like to know what, if any, steps he took to purge interference coming from the National Endowment for Democracy, George Soros, and other foreign interventionists.
Who is the victim? Yanukovich? He himself ordered to disarm Kiev police. And later he ordered to remove the riot police from Kiev. Then the coupists took over the administrative buildings in Kiev including Ukrainian parliament. His first duty was to protect the constitution; he failed.
I would really like to know if those Ukrainian government officials killed in the “accidental” helicopter fall were on that corrupted list or if those were perhaps hindering the ever greater plans of those around them on how to skim more.
You might be on to something right there.
I assume it is because part of the money Zelensky is skimming is ending up in Biden’s pocket.
10% for the big guy
They split the standard 10% “Big Guy” grift 50-50. That’s still plenty of moolah.
I’m shocked – shocked, that sending tens of billions of dollars in weapons with no oversight to the most corrupt country in Europe could result in such thievery. Yeah, right.
Me too! How COULD the indispensable House on the Hill do this???
So easily us power structure is turning on itself 🤣🤣🤣
“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”
For some reason, I trust Hersh’s source.
As per my comment above, the CIA has as a goal delivery of the truth to the top. After all, were its goal to suppress the truth, it would be of no value to the leadership.
He forgot to mention Nuland.
Ukraine has always been considerably corrupt. Zelensky has amassed over $2 billion during the war. I imagine he is going to use that money when he migrates to Florida or Canada.
He has a mansion in Florida, a nice little place in Italy too. Billions are stored in a bank in Chile or Peru. Wonder how much he and his wife made for their Vogue shoot.
Opulence at its best vlp1730
I only hope the Ukranian people have the will and courage to stand up against “their” corrupted” government and eventually expel those who fomented this conflict along with the USA and NATO! Actually, the American people should be criticized more for allowing a corrupt regime to not only STEAL the 2020 election, but passively accept the crap ensuing from that steal! Let’s all hope Ukrainians have less a stomach for war and corruption that spineless Americans! NATO/USA/Ukraine all want this war to continue lest the ending and some settlement be the end for these corrupt leaders.
They had their chance a year ago when Russian army moved deep into Ukraine. Putin hoped, Ukrainians, and particular Ukrainian army, would revolt against Kiev regime and with the help from Russia, establish a new, independent government. Then all accumulated problems between Ukraine and Russia could be solved by negotiations. Unfortunately, this scenario failed miserably.
Everyone. I mean everyone supported the claim that Ukraine was one of the most corrupt countries and Zelensky had billions until everyone all of the sudden decided against all that. All the articles have been fact checked and found to be false. If you believe that, I will give you a phenomenal deal on Ali Baba’s diamond ring. Just give me a call at 1-800-Sarcasm.
Yes, if only the “clean” candidate had only been elected. We could be offing drug dealers and invading Mexico by now.
Ukrainian government has been using US taxpayer money to purchase diesel from Russia to fuel its military
russian bosses are probably clinking their champagne glasses together toasting the US taxpayers.
a meeting between CIA Director William Burns and Zelensky in January
imagine china’s outrage if Burns met with taiwan’s president
The Comedian is buying his fuel from Boris while skimming a good chunk of it off the top: sounds like a normal day in US Statecraft.
My only question is if the “Big Guy” is getting his 10%?
So you mean the face job that his wife got wasn’t free? They look so poor I never would have guessed they were skimming money. (As it was the first thing I thought when I saw her on television, I wonder how she could afford plastic surgery when their country can’t afford ammo)
How much did Z and his wife get for their Vogue shoot?
If Z’ has all that money, maybe he ought change that shirt he has been wearing for the last eleven months.
It is more convenient to be dressed like Zelensky when one is begging for money.
Would you like him more if he rides a horse shirtless? I’m sure you would.
I think it would be even better if he enters Congress riding a goat.
He’s too pudgy to ride a goat, M . And he’d look like a complete fool riding a horse bare-chested and toting a rifle, which SOME leaders are able to get away with 😉
If, while riding the goat, he falls a couple of times, it wouldn’t damage much his reputation. After all, his first profession is clown.
Reading this account from Hersh makes me wonder if the leaks are coming from the CIA.
Don’t know about today, but in years past the CIA was the agency most dedicated to delivering factual information to the WH and State, with emphasis on accuracy (interpreted by some old-timers as the truth).
WELL DA!. What they expect, he would beat the Russians…??? The best and biggest armed State on the planet….???? How do you think they “conned him into risking his life by baiting Putin if not with DOLLARS & delusions of grandure. $400 million is fair for the risks he is taking …..
In a way I feel sorry for Seymour Hersh. His news in the old days would have brave men make congressional inquiries about such discoveries and journalists would follow up to circulate the news to keep the public more informed. Now we have complicit and cowards in congress and journalist doing the bidding of the security state. No country for old men indeed.
“No country for old men indeed.” Agreed, but soon enough, it would be “no country or world for the young and old.” (Sarcasm alert)
Don’t write him off yet! Republicans have already been calling for spending accountability in Ukraine. His report could be just what they have been looking for.
Not enough republicans. And most of them are concerned about not having enough resources to confront China. Except maybe Rand Paul.
Zelensky is a pimp 4 the US imperium
In the US it’s just the cost of doing business. Just ask the people at the Pentagon.
Nothing new , every war lord and dictator the US has backed have all filled their pockets with US tax Dollars , and then gone into exile to live the life of luxury , no doubt Z will do the same , probably rock up in Florida .
Sometimes they go to prison as it happened to Saakashvili. Washington is not so strong as it used to be.
Our desire to use Ukraine against Russia trumps all other considerations.
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