Nearly Half-Billion Dollars in Ukraine Aid Was Plundered

( – Ukraine is probing a corruption scheme involving the theft of nearly half a billion dollars from the military aid it received from all over the world.

The aid was supposed to help the war-torn country of Ukraine build defensive fortifications against advancing Russian forces.

However, Ukrainian politician Mikhail Bondar told the temporary investigative commission on fortification expenses that a significant amount of money was stolen from the budget allocated for defense purposes.

The absence of defensive fortifications in the critical battlefields has allowed Russia to make rapid advances in mainland Ukraine.

Due to this massive fraud scheme, nearly 30 criminal investigations are now underway.

Out of the stolen funds, almost $176 million has been embezzled in the Kharkiv region only, which is currently facing unprecedented attacks from Russian forces and needed strong defense infrastructure to survive the attacks. The corruption includes payment to ghost companies for the construction material that was never delivered.

In one instance of corruption, the Kharkiv Department of Housing and Communal Services signed controversial contracts with companies that were established right after the contracts were announced. Those companies won the wood supply work without any bidding.

The corruption scandal emerged at a time when the US was funneling billions of dollars to aid Ukraine in its conflict against Russia. Recently, bipartisan lawmakers in Congress approved almost $60.4 billion of aid for Ukraine to fulfill Biden’s demand, who had been pushing Congress to pass the funding. Since the beginning of the war, the Biden administration has given more than $175 billion to Ukraine.

This is not the first time that Ukrainian authorities have attracted criticism for stealing funds meant to help the country in the war.

Earlier this year, the Security Service of Ukraine revealed that Defense officials of the country orchestrated a plot to steal almost $40 million originally allocated to buy 100,000 mortar shells.

Former President Donald Trump has suggested that any aid to Ukraine should be provided as a loan rather than a gift.

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