Ukraine's corruption and U.S. weapons

As Congress gets close to approving another $1 Billion of weaponry for Ukraine, bring the total from just the U.S. to near $10 Billion of weapons. The UK has given Ukraine more than $4 Billion in advanced weaponry, and at least another $4 Billion from the rest of Europe.
And this is only the amount that has already been sent. It doesn't include the amount that is pledged.

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Imagine what we could have done in this country with $50 Billion. We could have ended homelessness. We could have ended child hunger. We could have given everyone 2 years of free college.
But instead we gave Ukraine, one of the most corrupt nations on this planet, more than $50 Billion in weapons.
The outcome of this situation was predictable.

The bulk of these weapons and military supplies make their way to the border of Poland, where U.S. and NATO allies quickly ferry it across the border and into the hands of Ukrainian officials. That's where U.S. oversight ends.
"All of this stuff goes across the border, and then something happens, kind of like 30% of it reaches its final destination," said Jonas Ohman, founder and CEO of Blue-Yellow, a Lithuania-based organization that has been meeting with and supplying frontline units with military aid in Ukraine since the start of the conflict with Russia-backed separatists in 2014.

"30-40%, that's my estimation," he said in April of this year.
...
"If you provide supplies, or a logistics pipeline, there has got to be some organization to it, right? If the ability to which you're willing to be involved in that stops at the Ukrainian border, the surprise isn't that, oh, all this stuff isn't getting to where it needs to go — the surprise is that people actually expected it to," said Millburn.

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Think about that for a second. This isn't RT saying that 60-70% of the weapons are being sold on the black market. The guy saying this is a "Lithuania-based organization (i.e. NATO-aligned) that has been meeting with and supplying frontline units with military aid in Ukraine since 2014." He has zero interest in playing up the corruption in Ukraine.
It's not like there wasn't people who saw this coming. It's not like there weren't people warning about this early on.
A mid-April CNN headline said What happens to weapons sent to Ukraine? The US doesn’t really know.
By late-May the Financial Times was comparing our weapons bonanza to Ukraine, to our debacle in Afghanistan.

As a former World Bank employee, working in Ukraine’s energy sector, I personally witnessed the large-scale damage caused by rampant corruption in that important industry. Despite his lofty election promises to root out corruption, under Zelensky the Ukrainian state has largely remained a kleptocracy, including the army (its admirable resistance to Russia’s aggression notwithstanding).

Since Russia’s first invasion in 2014, a large illicit arms market has emerged in Ukraine. The enormous surge in American money and military equipment has opened new avenues for graft and self-dealing in the Ukraine army.

So the illegal selling of U.S. weaponry to Ukraine preceded the 2022 Russian invasion.
By late June those Ukrainian bound weapons were turning up in the black market in such numbers that the even Russia began to benefit from Ukraine's corruption.

On June 20, French lawyer Régis de Castelnau wrote on his official Twitter account: “Another success of Macron: 2 French Caesar guns were intercepted intact by the Russians. They are currently in the Uralvagonzavod factory in the Urals for study and possible reverse engineering. Thank you Macron, we are paying”...
But the “unidentified” French sources later claimed, that the two Caesar self-propelled howitzers were sold, through an intermediary, by Ukrainians to Russians. The price, which is being discussed in tight circles, was $120,000 each.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that the unit value of a Caesar self-propelled howitzer varies around the amount of 7 million euros.

That's some discount. From 7 million Euros to just $120,000. Prices don't fall that far unless the market is saturated.

On June 2, BulgarianMilitary.com revealed the sale of at least one FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank guided missile system on the dark web for $30,000. The seller is unclear, but according to the information posted on the darknet, the location [where the system will be shipped or picked up from] is Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.

It's only a matter of time before these weapon systems wind up in the hands of terrorists.

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CB's picture

The Russians do not accept GMO crops in their country. These companies will have to be tossed out if the Donbas regions get their mandate.

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@CB
Before 2014 it was the area for heavy manufacturing and coal mines.
I believe the Donbas and Crimea is where Ukraine's natural gas was located.

I think the western Ukraine has the farming.

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CB's picture

@gjohnsit @gjohnsit

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@CB where do I sign up?

Major U.S. and European banks should be prosecuted for “committing war crimes” over their financing of trade with the Russian regime, according to a top aide to Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Oleg Ustenko, economic advisor to Zelenskyy, said the Ukrainian government believes banks, such as JPMorgan, HSBC and Citi, are aiding the Kremlin’s war efforts in Ukraine through financing companies that trade oil with Russia.

“Everybody who is financing these war criminals, who are doing these terrible things in Ukraine, are also committing war crimes in our logic,” he told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble Tuesday on “Capital Connection.”

JPMorgan, HSBC and Citi did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on those allegations.

Asked directly if he wants to see these banks prosecuted for war crimes, Ustenko said: “Exactly.”

It's long past time to prosecute Wall Street for war crimes. Although this is probably the dumbest reason for it. But I'll take dumb over nothing.
Ukraine is probably bluffing, but I like the bluff.

Team Zelenskyy is threatening to pursue the managers of these Wall Street companies personally all the way to the International Criminal Court, which the U.S. doesn't actually recognize. In 2002, the U.S. passed the Hague Invasion Act during the Global War on Terrorism, allowing the U.S. to liberate any American or citizen of an allied country held by the court.

If Washington was truly dedicated to helping the Ukrainian people, they would clear the path completely for Zelenskyy to chase Wall Street executives all the way to The Hague. Kindly step aside and let Zelenskyy do what no one on earth has yet been able to accomplish: clean up Wall Street.

Imagine the precedent that Zelenskyy could set. First, Wall Street management gets pursued like regular Pol Pots. After that, why not also let him hound executives, board members, and shareholders of the military industrial complex for war crimes? It's not like the Western weapons being sent to Ukraine are innocuous. Zelenskyy should be going after the Western weapons manufacturers and dealers who sent weapons to Ukraine which have been captured by Russian forces and risk being used against his own people.

“Currently, we are expecting that the Ukrainian economy is going to show a decline on the level of around 35-40%, which is a huge decline,” he said.

He said the decline was because nearly 50% of the businesses “are not operational now or not able to operate at full capacity.”

I guess we shouldn't expect Ukraine to ever pay us back.

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janis b's picture

@CB

soybeans one of the worst of the lot, for a very long time.

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I live just a few blocks away from the world-class museums in Golden Gate Park.
So guess what exhibit they have at the De Young Museum?

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After a great deal of soul searching I think that I'm going to pass on this.

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janis b's picture

@gjohnsit

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snoopydawg's picture

@gjohnsit

They are both portrayed whiter than either of them are. Michelle’s would look half way decent if she didn’t look so washed out and Obama is portrayed very effeminately in my opinion. Flowers surrounding the drone king? Unless it’s supposed to represent the amount of flowers people used at the gravesites?

Imagine spending $10 billion on homelessness here. That’s all we can do. Imagine congress letting that much money be spent on it. No one seems to blink an eye on how much the military gets anymore. I remember when people would bitch about it, but now very few people say anything about it. Over $800 BILLION for wars, but absolutely peanuts for things here at home. I’m bitching about it!!!

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

usefewersyllables's picture

of selective amnesia in this country. Tom Lehrer said it best:

Once the rockets are up
Who cares where they come down.
That’s not my department
Says Wernher Von Braun…

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

janis b's picture

@usefewersyllables

Satirically funny and musically entertaining.

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usefewersyllables's picture

@janis b

you’ll love all his stuff. His writing really influenced mine, and that of my band mates- and is one of the reasons that we never gained traction in the punk world of the early 80s. Well, that (nobody wanted cerebral punk), and the inescapable fact that we were a) too old and b) could all actually play our instruments…

But here’s my favorite, his ode to WWIII (from 1959…). Hearkening back to yesterday’s open thread: I still claim that he was the first punk.

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

janis b's picture

@usefewersyllables

Thank's for an afternoon's twisted (in a good way) entertainment. I'm listening to you tube's selection of Tom Lehrer.

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janis b's picture

@janis b

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usefewersyllables's picture

@janis b

I can’t see it- YouTube has it blocked for me. Just curious: which one did you choose? Hint: there are *no* bad Tom Lehrer tunes…

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

janis b's picture

@usefewersyllables

I found one I liked even more after that ...

In case you are unable to view this particular you tube, the title of the song is

The Vatican Rag - with intro

The intro is also great. I hope you can watch it.

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usefewersyllables's picture

@janis b

That one is also a favorite. They are all wonderful….

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

CB's picture

In this recent episode of the Patrick Henningsen Show on TNT Radio which aired on July 28, 2022, Patrick is joined by special guest, Brian Berletic, to discuss Pentagon propaganda, the media reality gap in Ukraine, and what are Ukraine’s chances of ever regaining its lost territory.

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Cassiodorus's picture

Interpol of course knew about the rabbit hole for weapons sent to Ukraine. But never mind. Go thieves! Defeat the other thieves!

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"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

CB's picture

"There is nothing NATO can do, there is nothing Ukraine can do, to affect the outcome."

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CB's picture

@CB

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@CB Interesting point by Ritter that NATO/US are depleting critical weapon reserves. NATO would only have enough munions for month if an all out convention war broke out with Russia. I have read where US is having problems with the production of Javelins and Stingers. One article in a UK military journal argued that the West does not have an industrial base for large scale war.

Russian has been planning to fight the entire West, while the West has been planning to fight the Taliban which does not have anti-aircraft missiles, advanced radar, huge numbers of artillery, etc. I know anti-monopolist Matt Stoller has articles on how basically greedy corporations have ruined the ability for real war level production.

I just hope the war ends quickly and the war monger NATO crazies are pushed aside.

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CB's picture

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

Today the sun dawns (hopefully but once) on the 77th anniversary of the Bombing of Hiroshima.

You'd think there'd be a Google Doodle for the occasion (after all, we are talking about a company headquartered in majority-Oriental Silicon Valley, where when I was in middle school, I was once gently but firmly discouraged from even making a picture of a mushroom cloud), or at least a sober link to something about the event, but apparently not.

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

To paraphrase Jodie Foster: Human is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from.

QMS's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

how can a moderately moral person celebrate the bombing of two civilian targets, killing
about 200,000 and consider it a victory? Shameful.

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@The Liberal Moonbat The BBC in 1965 produced a docudrama showing the effect of nuclear war on England. It was banned in the UK.

https://www.docsonline.tv/the-war-game/

Part interviews and quotations, part acting, this film simulates the aftermath of a large-scale nuclear attack near a rural area of England. It argues that citizens and Civil Defense authorities are poorly prepared for this eventuality, and describes possible physical, psychological and social damage in graphic detail.

The War Game is a frightening film, and draws public attention to the grim realities that might await us after a nuclear attack. As the film shows, the BBC’s decision to initially commission the documentary and then to ban it, was a conflicting mixture of both editorial bravery and conservatism.

The entire docudrama is at the link above.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

It's only a matter of time before these weapon systems wind up in the hands of terrorists.

The sooner they're out of Nazi hands, the better!

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

To paraphrase Jodie Foster: Human is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from.

a day or two ago, made several points that reinforce what gjohnsit is reporting here. It's not just that weapons from the U.S are going into a black hole. And it's not just that our government is in a position to know that, because of the corruption and the black market we run. It's that our government knows that even if we could arm, train, and fund Ukraine indefinitely, Russia