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Zelensky Aide Confirms Corruption Rumors: ‘People Are Stealing Like There’s No Tomorrow’

An advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that there is blatant corruption in the war-torn country.

According to TIME senior correspondent Simon Shuster, who followed Zelensky and his team back to Ukraine after they visited the U.S. in September to appeal for aid, bribery has become so widespread that Zelensky fired the heads of the draft offices in every region of the country.

From Fox News:

“The decision was intended to signal his commitment to fighting graft. But the move backfired, according to the senior military officer, as recruitment nearly ground to a halt without leadership,” Shuster wrote. “The fired officials also proved difficult to replace, in part because the reputation of the draft offices had been tainted.”

“Who wants that job?” an officer asked the reporter rhetorically. “It’s like putting a sign on your back that says: corrupt.”

As a key source of aid for Ukraine’s war effort, Shuster noted that the White House “prepared a list of anti-corruption reforms for the Ukrainians to undertake.”

“Amid all the pressure to root out corruption, I assumed, perhaps naively, that officials in Ukraine would think twice before taking a bribe or pocketing state funds. But when I made this point to a top presidential adviser in early October, he asked me to turn off my audio recorder, so he could speak more freely,” Shuster wrote.

“Simon, you’re mistaken,” an aide said. “People are stealing like there’s no tomorrow.””

The same official claimed that the Defense Minister’s firing did not have the desires effect because it took so long to occur.

Another advisor similarly noted that by the time of Zelensky’s crackdown, “it was too late,” as the “reputational damage was done.”

The TIME correspondent observed that even Ukrainian soldiers at the front have begun “making off-color jokes about ‘Reznikov’s eggs,’ a new metaphor for corruption.”

From TIME:

Public support for aid to Ukraine has been in decline for months in the U.S., and Zelensky’s visit did nothing to revive it. Some 41% of Americans want Congress to provide more weapons to Kyiv, down from 65% in June, when Ukraine began a major counteroffensive, according to a Reuter’s survey taken shortly after Zelensky’s departure.

Despite the rampant corruption, lawmakers in the United States are still asking for more funds for Ukraine, while President Trump is firmly against the war.

On Tuesday, Donald Trump Jr. called the Ukraine aid the biggest money laundering operation ever. With what we now know, he is not far off from the truth.


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