Telling the truth when it matters most

Telling the truth
when it matters most

View Series:

Play Video

Episode 5

Ukraine: Where has all our money gone?

The fifth episode investigates the $170 billion that the United States has committed to Ukraine through the lens of Senator Rand Paul’s efforts to audit the spending. It will explore the extravagant lifestyles of the Zelenskyy family and compare them to those lived by average Ukrainians.

More than 100 billion dollars. This about that number… more than 100 Billion dollars have poured into Ukraine and surrounding countries to help it stand against so-called “Russian aggression.”

 

But here’s a question…where is that money? And where is it actually going?

I’m investigative journalist Ben Swann…

 

Just two weeks after Russian military crossed the border into Ukrainian territory,

the U.S. Congress passed a $13.6 billion aid package to assist Ukraine.

Since that time, 100 billion more dollars has been sent to Ukraine and nearby countries.

So, where’s it going… and is anybody tracking that money?

Paul: We cannot save Ukraine by killing our economic strength.

This was Senator Rand Paul shortly after the very first $13 billion Ukraine aid package was approved by Congress just two weeks after the Russian invasion.

Just eight weeks later, the Senate returned to vote on another aid package for Ukraine—this time it was for 40 billion dollars. Senator Paul said that he would vote in favor of the aid package if the funds were audited, to ensure transparency.

But the bill was not amended—no inspector general was assigned to track the aid.

Mcadams: It’s a way for them to upgrade their military and to feed the US military industrial complex, to feed the beast. And there’s a little bit in it for everyone, except, as you point out, the people in Ukraine who are being killed.

MacGregor: I don’t know Zelensky other than by reputation. I’m told that he’s now a very wealthy man.

Truth be told, no one really seems to know where the 100 billion dollars sent to Ukraine is going … but we do know a little about the hands it is going through to get there.

The military aid that is being sent to Ukraine comes in three forms, the largest of which is the Presidential Drawdown Authority or PDA.

The PDA allows the President to “draw down” on the weapons stockpiles held by the U.S. military.

So far, President Biden has allowed for over 27.2 billion dollars’ worth of U.S. weapons to be sent to Ukraine . A controversial move that could actually be illegal.

Illegal because the President is only authorized to send 11 billion per fiscal year.

Before the intensification of war in Ukraine in February 2022, the President only had the authority to authorize $100 million worth of weapons per fiscal year via his PDA.

 

That changed in May of 2022 when Congress increased the amount by over one thousand percent–to 11 billion per year. But even this amount hasn’t been enough. Biden has spent more.

But why is the President allowed to do this? He isn’t. He just does.

Once U.S. weapons are shipped out, they have to be replaced with new ones, which are more expensive. As an example, if the President draws down on 3 billion dollars’ worth of weapons, about 1 billion dollars’ worth would be sent to Ukraine, while 2 billion dollars would be sent to a defense company to produce their replacements. See how this works?

In the end, the defense company is getting the vast majority of the aid that’s supposed to be going to Ukraine.

No wonder profits are through the roof for defense companies–U.S. taxpayers are fattening the already fat pockets of the military industrial complex.

Lira: They’re making money hand over fist. Now, how much of that money is actually go into the Zelensky regime? That’s a very good question.

An audit performed on Ukraine aid by investigative news outlet, The Grayzone, found a dozen shady spending sprees by USAID, which disperses non-lethal assistance to Ukraine.

This includes 31 million dollars to Chemoics International, Inc. for a “Ukraine confidence building initiative” and even $25 million to a private equity fund that operates in Ukraine.

The way it works is that USAID hands the cash to the World Bank. The World Bank then hands the cash off to the Ukrainian government. The funds are earmarked for all sorts of causes, headlined by funding social programs and “salaries to civil servants.”

This massive amount of cash is raising questions about whether or not the United States should be funneling such vast quantities with such little oversight.

Before the Russian invasion in February of 2022,

Ukraine was widely known as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

Transparency International ranked it 116th out of 180 countries, based off opinions by experts and businesspeople.

This situation certainly didn’t change with the deluge of cash sent by the U.S.

Kotsaba: I don’t think that during the war the administration stopped stealing.

Pressure from the west led to a crackdown on corruption under the Zelensky regime, with government ministers being fired and arrested for stealing money.

It was even revealed that criminal groups had gotten their hands on funds meant for infrastructure.

Other officials were charged over a corruption scheme involving overpaying for soldiers’ food.

And hundreds of shell companies dedicated to exporting grain have been accused of tax evasion.

But one corrupt politician is conspicuously absent from persecution: Zelensky himself.

In 2021, the Pandora Papers revealed that Zelensky and his business partners used offshore companies to purchase real estate in London.

These findings were consistent with claims made by Ukrainian Parliament member, Volodymyr Ariev, who stated that Zelensky and his partners had $41 million of embezzled funds stored away in offshore companies.

Telizhenko: We have a country with a corrupt government, which is more corrupt than any other Ukrainian government before.

The problem of corruption in Ukraine is more pronounced given the dire social needs that exist in the country.. not to mention those same needs here in the United States.

In fact, Rapper Cardi B- just pointed out to her millions of followers how the living conditions of people in New York continue to degrade while we send billions to Ukraine and Israel.

I’m not endorsing no fucking presidents no more. Because how is it that 100-million-dollar budget cut in New York City for schools, libraries, police safety, and sanitation yet Joe Biden’s talking about ‘yeah, we can fund two wars.’

And here’s Senator Paul discussing why we can’t keep sending money abroad while ignoring those struggling at home.

 

Rand Paul: in March, inflation hit a 40-year high. gasoline alone is up 48%, and energy prices are up 32% over the last year. food prices have increased by nearly 9%. used vehicle prices are up 35% for the year, and new vehicle prices have increased 12% or more… Americans are feeling the pain, and congress seems intent only on adding to that pain by shoveling more money out the door as fast as they can.

 

Consider these numbers…

Over Eight million people have fled Ukraine since February of 2022. That’s about 20% of the country’s population. Unemployment hovers at around 35%…Even the country’s oligarchs have lost a combined 20 billion dollars since the start of the conflict . But there’s a new class of rich aiming to take their place. These are folks like Zelensky who are accused of skimming from the honey pot that is our tax dollars.

When rumors began circulating online that Zelensky had been getting rich off US aid, mainstream media outlets were quick to try to dispel the rumor.

Forbes said he was only worth around 30 million dollars.

 

Yet articles like these don’t even mention Zelensky’s many offshore companies and assets, which were leaked and verified by outlets like the Guardian.

The truth is we have no idea how much money Zelensky has or where it is. and that’s a big problem. Is this war making Zelensky one of the richest men in the world… and doing the same for those around him?

Meanwhile, the rest of world may not be getting money… but they could be in the crosshairs of many of the weapons being sent to Ukraine that never actually get there. Next time on Zelensky Unmasked, we’ll investigate the weapons themselves. Where are they really going?

I’ll see you next time.

Never miss an episode

Enter your email below to be notified whenever new content is available from Truth in Media