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Ukraine Rocked By Corruption Scandal, Wave Of Top Officials Resign: Sports Cars, Mansions & Luxury Vacations As People Suffered

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The Ukrainian government on Tuesday confirmed the resignation of multiple high ranking officials amid large-scale corruption allegations, in what’s being called the biggest mass resignation and graft scandal since the Russian invasion began.

Some dozen officials have quit their posts after a huge political shake-up over allegations and probes into cases ranging from bribery, to mismanagement of aid funds for purchasing food, to embezzlement, to driving expensive cars while common people suffer under wartime conditions.

A top presidential adviser and four deputy ministers – among these two defense officials, along with five regional governors were forced out of their posts. And among the regional governors to step down included officials overseeing regions which have seen intense fighting, including the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, where Russian forces have lately reported gains.

In reference to the announcement by a senior government official, Oleg Nemchinov, international reports detail the following list

  • 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

And 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.” 

In this case regarding the food contracts, Shapovalov is accused of signing a deal with an unknown, shady firm. In his role as deputy defense minister, his is the most notable and visible resignation. Crucially he would have had no small part in overseeing the billions of dollars flowing from the pockets of US and European taxpayers as authorized defense aid.

He purchased military rations at inflated prices in what appears a scheme to line the pockets of contractors, and potentially involving kickbacks to himself.

While the defense ministry is still trying to downplay it as a “technical error” – Politico reviews of the details to 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).

This is two to three times higher than current rates for such food items, reports say. Shapovalov’s resignation letter indicated he’s stepping down 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’s also deputy head of the Zelensky administration Kyrylo Tymoshenko, who stands accused of living a lavish wartime lifestyle. Many current mainstream media reports on Tuesday are burying some of the key verified details. 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 starting in early December local Ukrainian outlets, angered at the posh lifestyle of Ukrainian leaders at a moment tens of millions are without power amid Russian aerial bombardment of the nation’s power grid, began confirming that Tymoshenko drove high-end sports cars in and out of the capital, to and from mansions which typically range in cost from $10,000 to $25,000 per month

Deputy Head of the President’s Office 34-year-old Kirill Timoshenko

Below are photos published by The New Voice of Ukraine, republished in Yahoo News, in early December of last year, showing Tymoshenko frequently behind the wheel of a shiny new Porsche Taycan…

One outlet published a photo series entitled Not the “martial law” of Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Ukraine’s Office of the President

US taxpayer dollars at work in Ukraine…

As another example of Western MSM seeking to downplay or soften this latest wave of graft-related forced resignations, the AFP writes, “Ukraine has long suffered 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.” And yet officials like Tymoshenko were spotted around Kiev and oligarchs’ neighborhoods driving luxury sports cars for months throughout the war.

Additionally, there’s this laughable and embarrassing line out of the AFP report: “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.”

From a government supposedly “pushing anti-corruption reforms for years” to over $100 billion in US defense and foreign aid being pledged to Kiev’s coffers over the past year… to now this from within the heart of the Zelensky administration:

It doesn’t stop at posh and expensive cars, but the controversy has even extended to luxury vacations abroad as Ukrainians suffer the deprivations 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.” The government has as a result now reportedly barred top officials from vacationing abroad as a result of the scandal.

Just prior to the wave of resignations, another official named Vasyl Lozynskiy was accused of receiving bribes to “facilitate” the purchase of generators at greatly hiked-up prices. Crucially, Lozynskiy as Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Development would have also been directly involved in overseeing how billions of dollars in Western humanitarian and infrastructure assistance gets doled out.

Commenting on this, mainstream media is now belatedly acknowledging a fact that’s long been well-known, but which would get a person ‘canceled’ in public discourse if they dared pointed it out:

“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.)

And now Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov is under scrutiny related to the growing probe and scandal. Meanwhile, as news of the widening scandal hits world headlines…

This post was originally published at Zero Hedge

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World at War

Jordan Peterson Calls For Regime Change in Iran

To fight “misogyny”.

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Jordan Peterson has called on the west to embark on regime change in Iran to fight “misogyny”.

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Video: Belarusian Tennis Star Calls Out Sports Reporters For “Dragging Players Into” Ukraine Conflict Talk

“I don’t know what’s the goal here that it’s continuously brought up.”

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Belarusian tennis star Victoria Azarenka has called out sports reporters for continually asking players questions about the Russia/Ukraine conflict, noting “I don’t know what you guys want us to do about it.”

Azarenka was speaking during a press conference after a recent match at the Australian open, when she lost patience with journalists asking question after question about pro-Russia protests by some at the event, and accused the reporters of continuously “dragging players into” political issues.

“I don’t know what you guys want us to do about it,” Azarenka asserted, adding “Like talk about it? I don’t know what’s the goal here that it’s continuously brought up.”

The former world number one continued, “These incidents that, in my opinion, have nothing to do with players, but somehow you keep dragging players into it. So what’s the goal here?”

“I think you should ask yourself that question, not me,” she sternly added.

Azarenka also stated that whatever she says will be twisted by the reporters to suit their own narrative anyway, so why should she bother.

“Whatever the answer I’m going to give it to you right now, it’s going to be turned whichever way you want to turn it to,” the tennis star urged, adding “So does it bother me? What bothers me is there’s real things that’s going on in the world. And I don’t know. Are you a politician? Are you? Are you covering politics?” she rhetorically asked the sports reporter.

“I’m an athlete,” Azarenka further proclaimed, adding “and you’re asking me about things that maybe somebody says are in my control, but I don’t believe that. So I don’t know what you want me to answer. And if it’s a provocative question, then, you know, you can spin the story however you want.”

“Obviously it’s a topic you want to continue to bring up and up and up again,” Azarenka charged, telling the reporters “I don’t know what you want me to say.”

Watch:

Azarenka is correct, there is a sustained effort by reporters, even non-politics reporters to involve sports personalities in narratives centred around the ‘current thing’ they obsessively use to sell newspapers and garner clicks.

Novak Djokovic has been repeatedly subject to such treatment, with tennis officials also guilty of dragging politics into the sport.

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    World at War

    Former UK Defense Minister Says NATO May Need To Send Ground Forces To Ukraine

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    The “domino theory” was once used to great effect in order to manipulate the American public into supporting the Vietnam War, but will the same narrative work to get the west to support World War III with Russia? 

    Former UK Defense Minister Sir Gerald Howarth seems to think so as he uses this exact claim to justify NATO boots on the ground in Ukraine. 

    It should be noted that a large percentage of the American populace and most of Europe have no interest whatsoever in engaging with Russia and possibly its allies in all out war, but the establishment appears intent on forcing the issue anyway.  The delivery of NATO tanks and the possibility of longer range missiles will no doubt trigger a wider response from Russia, which will then be used by NATO as a reason to escalate further. 

    At the very least, Howarth does admit what many in the alternative media have been saying for some time – That Ukraine’s efforts have ground to a halt without further support from NATO troops.  The deliveries of money and weapons are nothing more than a stop-gap; wars are won by men. 

    The former minister suggests that Ukraine is essentially too big to fail and that NATO cannot allow Russia to prevail in the region, otherwise they will be emboldened to strike other nearby nations.  There is zero evidence to support this argument, but it is clear that NATO talking heads are desperate to drum up some kind of public fervor. 

    Are western citizens willing to fight and die for Ukraine?  It’s highly unlikely. 

    This post was originally published at Zero Hedge

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