An inconvenient truth – Corruption in Ukraine

With news that as little as 30 percent of arms are reaching the battlefield in Ukraine, two huge issues have arises, namely where are the rest of the arms going and just deeply rooted is the corruption in Ukraine?

Cracks in US resolve? 

The news, which has only gained any traction since it was reported by US networks CBS, is actually nothing new, with US lawmakers, principally Ukrainian born Victoria Spartz having brought up similar concurs, only to have been shushed by the government and the rest of the US military industrial complex.

Spartz a Republican US Congresswoman who has made her fellow GOP colleague wince with her allegations, allegations now at least being taken partly seriously since the CBS piece.

Who is Victoria Spartz and why does her opinion matter? 

Spartz is the only US members of Congress that was born in the Ukraine, and not just Ukrainian, but when it was part of the USSR. When the war first started she was one of the principal actors campaigning for aid and arms to be sent to her homeland in its fight against Russia. And not only this, but she as an anti-communist Republican – there is no way she can be accused of being a 5th columnist.

Since the start of the war Spartz has traveled to her homeland over a dozen times, initially at least being put on a bipartisan pedestal, representing not just the voice of Ukraine and not only the American narrative, but the very ideals of the American dream itself. 

So, what changed with her and what has she said? Trailing to the country, understanding the language and indeed it being her homeland gave her a unique view into what was actually happening in the country, and she did not like what she saw. 

Essentially she pointed out a very inconvenient truth, that Ukraine has rampant corruption, oligarchs and warlords are controlling the supply lines and most scarily not only are weapons not reaching their target, but we once again have no idea whose hands they might be falling into. 

Quite expectedly this led to Republicans quietly trying to remove her from the pedestal they gad put her on, people accusing her perversely of not being patriotic and even being on the side of Moscow. Worde vitroil though was to come from the authorities in Kiev who have accused her of “trying to earn extra political capital on baseless speculation.”, as well as questioning the “cynical manipulations about Ukraine and its leadership from congresswomen of Ukrainian origin.”.

Sparts for her part has not only stuck by her guns, but has even rebuked the authorities in Ukraine stating “I encourage the Ministry to consider my statement with the kind of seriousness these questions about Mr. Yermak demand, instead of launching ad hominem attacks as they have thus far,”.

But at this point it was not only her pointing out the problems, with CBS making the same claims in a documentary.

Corruption in Ukraine – The CBS Documentary

To say that  the CBS documentary proved somewhat controversial would be doing a great disservice. Not only have there been claims of censorship with regards to it, but has also resulted in claims and counter-claims from all sides of the argument from Russia to the USA and Ukraine itself.

Russia has expectedly used it as propaganda to justify what it says about the country, thus playing into the hands of those slating Spartz, with the US and Ukraine both not only downplaying the claims, but flat out denying them.

To sum up the documentary, which can watched online and as previously written perhaps as little as 30 percent of arms sent to Ukraine make it to the battlefield, with there not only being no checks and balances, but us having no idea where this high-grade military equipment is ending up.

You can see the self-censored documentary below 

Corruption in Ukraine 

Yet while governments try and hush the allegations with the kind of censorship that is only used during  actual war-time, rather than proxy wars is that Ukraine being corrupt is far from news.

According to the Corruption Perception Index Ukraine is the 122nd most corrupt nation on earth, below communist states such as Vietnam and Cuba, while only slightly above nations such as Yemen and Somalia.

To read the Corruption Perception Index click here.

Essentially the state was heavily corrupt before the war, something known only too well in the west, something which anyone has spent time in the country, or done business here can attest to. 

To read about the Union of Soviet Sovereign Republics click here

This fact also makes a mockery of talks about Ukraine becoming a member of the European Union, with even the most ardent supporters suggesting it could take anywhere between 10-20 years for the country to be even vaguely ready to join. For all intents and has been seen with other nations, such as Turkey the EU adopt a “we don’t want you, but we don’t want anyone else to have you” stance. 

Where are the guns?

Yet while corruption in everyday life is one thing, once state of the art arms become involved then it thus becomes a problem for everyone involved and again this is nothing new.

In the 1980’s the proxy war in Afghanistan ended up arming Al Qaida, the 2000’s invasion of Iraq armed Islamic State and right now the Taliban are flying about in equipment left after the shit-show that was the US withdrawal.

Where the weapons end up is anyones guess, but the most likely scenario is “to the highest bidder”, which could mean organised crime, or any number of insurgencies and wars going on throughout the world. When there is no arms-control there is always arms-proliferation.

Should the west be arming Ukraine?

Despite the tone of this article, I write this not to justify the abhorrent Russian invasion, nor to suggest that Ukraine should not be receiving arms in its fight for independence. 

The question is though, with over $1.5 billion in further aid to the country pledged, we need to ask not only where the aid is going, but perhaps what exactly our motives are in the region.

It surely is no coincidence that the only stocks rising right now are those related to Military Industrial Complex.