The Ukraine War

In the past three days, Russian troops, backed by fighter jets, artillery and lethal drones, have poured across Ukraine’s northeastern border and seized at least nine villages and settlements, ­and more square miles per day than at almost any other point in the war, save the very beginning.

In some places, Ukrainian troops are retreating, and Ukrainian commanders are blaming each other for the defeats.

More than two years of trying to fight off a country with three times the population to draw from has left Ukraine so depleted and desperate for fresh troops that its lawmakers have voted to mobilize convicts, a controversial practice that Ukraine had ridiculed Russia for using in the first half of the war.

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All of this is an invitation for Russia to use up their resources.

The US and EU will be throwing more hardware into the fight.

The press is willing to spin things for a while. Russia is making small gains at great expense.

If Russia runs short of munitions by mid-summer Ukraine will have an upper hand.

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So instead of fortifications suitcases were filled with cash so Ukraine oligarchs can exit Ukraine if necessary and live the life they wish to become accustomed to.

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Echos of Halliburton’s “no bid” contracts in Iraq? How much USian government money vanished in that operation?

Of course, in Ukraine’s case, we need to be mindful of pervasive Russian misinformation campaigns aiming to undermine US and EU support for Ukraine.

Steve

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I have no idea, but my gut tells me that Haliburton couldn’t be bothered to make off with a paltry $9 million. You need 9 or 10 figures to get their attention.

Profiting off of war is nothing new. Daddy Warbucks may have just been a character in a comic strip, but he was very real during The Great War a century ago.

–Peter

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Is this amount enough to gain some “interest”? I am confident most of that money found it’s way into the “right” pockets.

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Yep. That would do the trick.

Getting more serious, yes, corruption during war time is a real problem. But it’s also important to keep any eye on the specific issues. The automatic clip in tj’s link mentions the amount ($9 million US), but it doesn’t mention the “problem.” Here’s the next paragraph of the article:

According to Mezha’s findings based on open-source data, contracts were signed with companies that appear to be fictitious. Tens of millions of hryvnias were transferred to a private entrepreneur whose owner, Ihor Chaus, has a criminal record for stealing a bottle of whiskey from a supermarket and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service, said the anti-graft activist.

No evidence that the companies were fictitious. Just a mention of a petty theft in the business owner’s past.

This anti-corruption activist goes on with some other accusations as well. Importantly, she very specifically says she has no idea if the contracts were actually fulfilled, pawning that issue off on the police.

To be clear, I know nothing other that what was written in the article. My point is that the whole thing reads like someone is heavily biased here. This activist comes across in the article like a Karen complaining that a guy who once stole a bottle of whiskey can’t possibly now be running a business to supply materiel for a war. But it could be that the article was written by someone trying to cover an actual theft of several million dollars by painting the accuser in the worst possible light.

The one thing I’m certain of is that this reporting is very short on facts actually verified by the reporter. All I see is a bunch of accusations with no support for any of them. It smells like propaganda. The question is whose propaganda is it?

–Peter

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The very ground upon which he stands as not as important as that from which he derives his income. Attributed to T Jefferson describing the loyalty you can expect from a businessman

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Guilt by association is mother’s milk to Fixed Noise. The farther I read into your post, the more it sounds like a character assassination piece from the Fox/Putin propaganda mill. Now, watch it get traction in Congress “not one more penny for that corrupt regime!!!”

Steve

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This is different than Haliburton because it is an internal battle that was brought to light.

These firms were set up several months before they were awarded contracts worth hundreds of thousands of hryvnias.

They award millions to unestablished corporations.
“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” methinks.

Late last year:

https://www.politico.com/news/2023/10/02/biden-admin-ukraine-strategy-corruption-00119237
Biden administration officials are far more worried about corruption in Ukraine than they publicly admit, a confidential U.S. strategy document obtained by POLITICO suggests.

The “sensitive but unclassified” version of the long-term U.S. plan lays out numerous steps Washington is taking to help Kyiv root out malfeasance and otherwise reform an array of Ukrainian sectors. It stresses that corruption could cause Western allies to abandon Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s invasion, and that Kyiv cannot put off the anti-graft effort.

2 days ago:

The secretary of state wouldn’t be talking about corruption unless the US is still worried about it.

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Well tuned disinformation can really drill into your brain, eh?

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Depending on your news source Ukraine slows/stop Russia Kharkiv offense.

miscellaneous news items re:Ukraine

Deutsche Bank previously withdrew its guarantees for the construction of a gas processing plant in the wake of Western sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

For every man, woman and child, world military spending is now at its highest since the end of the Cold War — at $306 per person.

Moscow has made inroads of at least several kilometres into the north of Kharkiv region since Friday, forcing Kyiv’s outmanned troops to try to hold the line on a new front as Russia mounts more pressure on the front in the east.

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