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Despite the image glorified by the Western ideological machine, most Ukrainians believe that President Volodymyr Zelensky bears responsibility for corruption in the government and the Armed Forces. Only 18% of respondents disagreed with the statement.

The survey was published this Tuesday (12) by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, together with the Razumkov Center and the International Institute of Sociology. The survey was carried out between July and August this year and interviewed 2,011 people in areas not occupied by Russian troops.

In 2019, the comedian won the second round of the country’s presidential elections after running an electoral campaign marked by the promise to combat corruption, in addition to rejecting the political class.

In August, in order to improve Kiev’s internal image, a series of dismissals among officers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were carried out by Zelensky, after corruption scandals became more intense.

Zelensky’s “rebranding” reached its peak in early September, when Defense Minister Oleksi Reznikov was fired on the grounds of combating corruption.

Until then another Western symbol of Ukrainian resistance to the invasion, Reznikov did not resist the August scandals, which involved all the regional heads responsible for Ukrainian military enlistment.

There are also those who say that the country’s former defense number 1 fell due to Western pressure, after the failure of the counteroffensive, which began on June 4th.

In total, the West, led by the United States, has already transferred around US$100 billion in war aid to Ukraine.

Corruption cases

After the outbreak of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, one of the biggest arms traffickers in the world, Serhiy Pashinsky, also became one of the main suppliers to Ukraine.

In August, the American newspaper New York Times, revealed that Pashinsky’s company Ukrainian Armored Technology’s increased its revenue 125 times after the start of the war. The company had revenues of US$2.8 million in 2021, going on to profit US$350 million in 2022.

The detail, however, is that the company is an intermediary that buys weapons in countries like Bulgaria and Poland, and resells them to the Ukrainian Armed Forces at an inflated price.

In 2002, Pashinsky had already been arrested for corruption. In 2019, Zelensky criticized the businessman on national television. “Go out on the streets and ask if Pashinsky is a criminal (…) I guarantee that out of every 100 people, 100 will say he is a criminal,” said Zelensky.

Also in August, signs of corruption in military recruitment centers broke out with force never seen before by Kiev. A former military commissar of Odessa, Yevhen Borisov, was accused of accepting bribes for exemption from conscription. Borisov is said to have purchased properties worth €4 million in a Spanish resort in Marbella at the end of 2022.

An audit also revealed that the military commissar in Transcarpathia, western Ukraine, recruited soldiers for a construction site on his property. In Rivne, in the northwest of the country, there were even cases of abuse.

In Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, another enlistment office chief was arrested for sending close subordinates to a Ukrainian brigade. However, his assistants were paid without participating in combat.


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