Yellow card to Ukraine: Ukrainian Member of Parliament Yaroslav Zheleznyak has raised serious concerns about the widening rift between the US and Ukraine. According to Zheleznyak, the US has issued a stern warning, symbolized by a “yellow card,” to Ukraine regarding its corruption problem.
He candidly admits the presence of corruption within Ukraine and emphasizes the critical need for the country to avoid significant scandals for the next 45 days.
Zheleznyak underscores that the US demands Ukraine to be “holier than the Pope” to continue receiving and potentially increasing US assistance. Ukraine, in his view, finds itself ensnared in the intricacies of US domestic politics, being held hostage to these dynamics.
Despite this challenging situation, Zheleznyak urges Ukrainian authorities to exert pressure on Washington for funding within the government budget. The primary grievance against Ukraine, as stated by Zheleznyak, centers on corruption.
This is the first time by the Biden administration that Ukrainian authorities are called upon to demonstrate unwavering determination in combating corruption and taking decisive actions against major offenders.
No More Weapons: Pentagon Confirms
However, the White House is not at all alone in cutting such assistance. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has also issued a stern warning over Ukraine, deepening the concerns about the strained relationship between the two nations. The Pentagon, in a letter addressed to congressional leaders, has stressed that due to the lack of adequate funds, further Ukrainian aid is pretty hard to follow up.
Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord, in the letter, underscored the urgency, emphasizing that the Pentagon has already been compelled to slow down the replenishment of its own forces, preparing for an uncertain financial future. He pointed out the potential consequences, stating that failure to replenish military services promptly could jeopardize the readiness of the U.S. military personnel.
Of paramount concern is the possibility that, without adequate funding, the Pentagon might be constrained from supplying Ukraine with weapons deemed “critical and urgent,” especially now, as Russia prepares for a winter offensive.
This concern is not isolated, as the United States isn’t the sole entity raising alarms about Ukraine’s behavior and corruption and withdrawing support amid the ongoing war.
Joining the Chorus: EU’s Big Statement
The European Union (EU) has also joined the chorus, signaling that aid to Ukraine is diminishing. According to Politico, EU countries have supplied Ukraine with all the arms possible without compromising their own defense capabilities. An anonymous European source emphasized that while political support remains strong, the EU has exhausted its resources, stating, “We’ve given everything that will not endanger our own security.”
Recent anonymous statements from EU officials underscored their confusion about Ukraine’s utilization of substantial financial and war assistance, especially given the minimal gains achieved in the conflict. The pervasive corruption issue in Ukraine has intensified, exacerbated by the ongoing war.
The Corruption Dilemma: Where is the War Assistance
Additionally, claims made by Ukrainian MPs further highlight serious internal problems within the Ukrainian government, painting a concerning picture of the country’s stability and governance.
Ukraine’s enduring problem of corruption has been a point of contention for a considerable period, drawing substantial attention even before the outbreak of the war. Western powers have invested over $900 billion in the Ukraine war until now. Nevertheless, the whereabouts of this money and the extent to which Ukraine has effectively utilized it have always remained unanswered questions posed to Kyiv.
It is widely believed, sometimes definitively confirmed, that a significant portion of these funds is embezzled by corrupt Ukrainian politicians, a reputation they are notorious for.
From the corruption scandals involving figures like Yanukovich to controversies surrounding Zelensky’s private land dealings, Ukrainian politicians have consistently sparked debate. During the war, numerous names surfaced, drawing public scrutiny.
Among them, Vladyslav Trubitsyn operated ‘private war assistance camps,’ misappropriated funds, and fled with the aid of Kyiv officials. Additionally, reports emerged about Ukrainian smugglers supplying weapons to groups like Hamas in the Middle East.
The severity of Ukraine’s corruption issue has heightened, raising concerns among Western backers. Notably, NATO has voiced increasing impatience, as reflected in their recent statements. Poland has already chosen to withdraw its assistance to Ukraine, and now comparable excuses are emerging from the White House and Brussels.
This situation highlights the growing challenge presented by corruption in Ukraine, reaching a point where NATO can no longer tolerate the burden of patience.