Nuland’s Departure and the Ukraine Aid Investigation: Connecting the Dots

Biden Ukraine aid

Victoria Nuland’s Exit Fuels Speculation: DOJ Probes Billions in Ukraine Aid

Intriguing rumours are swirling that the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI have initiated an investigation into the murky trail of billions allocated for Ukraine aid. This probe allegedly seeks to uncover the whereabouts of these funds, which were disbursed via the State Department and CIA.

The abrupt departure of Victoria Nuland, the third-ranking U.S. diplomat overseeing Ukrainian affairs, has only fueled such speculation. Her hurried exit comes after years of manoeuvring the geopolitical chessboard around Russia’s embattled neighbour.

The Russian foreign ministry immediately seized on the announcement, calling it an admission of failed U.S. policy toward Russia.

“They won’t tell you the reason,” spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. “But it is simple – the failure of the anti-Russian course of the Biden administration. Russophobia, proposed by Victoria Nuland as the main foreign policy concept of the United States, is dragging the Democrats to the bottom like a stone.”

It was Nuland who infamously handpicked Ukraine’s new leadership during the 2014 Maidan protests, candidly discussing potential ministers over a leaked phone call. Her audacious words uttering an expletive toward the EU betrayed American dismissiveness of European priorities.

In the recording, Nuland’s voice can be heard giving US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt orders about who the United States had selected to be Ukraine’s new prime minister. Countering Pyatt’s suggestion of the popular former boxer, Vitali Klitschko, Nuland selected Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

The US Legacy: World Domination, in an Age for a New America.

After the pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was forced out of the country and Yatsenyuk struggled to lead a new government, an anti-Russian billionaire, Petro Poroshenko, won the presidency in September 2014.

He immediately appealed to the Obama administration for military assistance to counter Russia, but President Obama kept him at bay, reasoning that “Ukraine is a core interest for Moscow, in a way that it is not for the United States.”

In other words, not only did the CIA work to overthrow the elected president, Yanukovych, but Nuland managed to manipulate Ukrainian politics from within and thus contribute to what was to evolve into a notoriously corrupt regime under Poroshenko.

At the same time, her commander-in-chief, Barack Obama, chose to limit the US involvement in Ukraine by defining a prudent arm’s length relationship with the fiasco that was unfolding, even after Russia seized Crimea from the Ukrainians.

Memorably, she handed out cookies and bread to protesters on Kyiv’s central Maidan before the toppling of its then-president in 2014  along with Senator John McCain who told demonstrators “America is with you,” and then, stood shoulder to shoulder with the leader of the far-right Svoboda party as the US ambassador haggled with the State Department over who would make up the new Ukrainian government. No US regime change there then…

“Yats is the guy,” she proclaimed of Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the U.S.-preferred prime minister, who dutifully took power after the violent ouster of the democratically-elected government.

John McCain in Kiev
Senator John McCain, centre, greets well-wishers in Independence Square in Kyiv. Photograph: Sergei Chuzavkov/AP Photograph: Sergei Chuzavkov/AP

When the Ukrainian president was replaced by a US-selected administration, in an entirely unconstitutional takeover, politicians such as William Hague brazenly misled parliament about the legality of what had taken place: the imposition of a pro-western government on Russia’s most neuralgic and politically divided neighbour.

It was all pre-planned, yet another US regime change, another action carried out in the continuation of the Forever wars.

It was at this time we really see American influence/corruption unfolding.

When the then Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. travelled to Kyiv, Ukraine, for a series of meetings with the country’s leaders, one of the issues on his agenda was to encourage a more aggressive fight against Ukraine’s rampant corruption and stronger efforts to rein in the power of its oligarchs.

But the credibility of the vice president’s anticorruption message may have been undermined by the association of his son, Hunter Biden, with one of Ukraine’s largest natural gas companies, Burisma Holdings, and with its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, who was Ukraine’s ecology minister under former President Viktor F. Yanukovych before he was forced into exile.

Hunter Biden, 45, a former Washington lobbyist, joined the Burisma board in April 2014. That month, as part of an investigation into money laundering, reported by The New York Times British officials froze London bank accounts containing $23 million that allegedly belonged to Mr Zlochevsky, the owner of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings.

Britain’s Serious Fraud Office, an independent government agency, specifically forbade Mr Zlochevksy, as well as Burisma Holdings, the company’s chief legal officer and another company owned by Mr Zlochevsky, to have any access to the accounts.

But after Ukrainian prosecutors refused to provide documents needed in the investigation, a British court in January ordered the Serious Fraud Office to unfreeze the assets. The refusal by the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office to cooperate was the target of a stinging attack by the American ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, who called out Burisma’s owner by name in a speech in September.

“In the case of former Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, the U.K. authorities had seized $23 million in illicit assets that belonged to the Ukrainian people,” Mr Pyatt said. Officials at the prosecutor general’s office, he added, were asked by the United Kingdom “to send documents supporting the seizure. Instead they sent letters to Zlochevsky’s attorneys attesting that there was no case against him. As a result, the money was freed by the U.K. court, and shortly thereafter the money was moved to Cyprus.”

Mr Pyatt went on to call for an investigation into “the misconduct” of the prosecutors who wrote the letters. In his speech, the ambassador did not mention Hunter Biden’s connection to Burisma.

More controversy surrounding Biden and Burisma Group came after Dec. 8, 2015: Biden visited Kyiv again and spoke out against bureaucratic corruption that he said was eating Ukraine “like a cancer.” Biden threatened to withhold loan guarantees unless Ukraine’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was claimed to have also been part of the corruption, was removed.

However, the real issue was closer to home for Biden. Shokin had inherited an investigation into Burisma. The Ukrainian gas giant had out of the blue picked Hunter Biden to sit on its board, despite Hunter Biden having no previous experience in the energy industry.

There followed claims and counterclaims stating the investigation was dormant others claiming Shoken had tried to illicit bribes to stop the investigation. Either way, Biden pushed for the prosecutor’s termination, Bloomberg reported, citing a former Ukrainian official.

His strong-arm tactics come while visiting Kyiv in December 2015, then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden warned Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that, if he did not fire Shokin, the Obama administration was prepared to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees. Biden later said:

“I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ and son of a bitch – He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.” Whether or not Shokin’s successor was “solid” was never confirmed. 

The investigation into Burisma was dropped.

Of course, Biden got rid of the prosecutor with his quid pro quo threat — do as I say in “six hours” or the billion-dollar bailout is nixed — not only reeks of self-dealing interference in Ukrainian sovereignty but it’s as shifty as a man in a trenchcoat selling dirty postcards on Morcome Bay.

Obama administration officials, European diplomats, and anti-corruption advocates in Ukraine say Shokin was removed because he failed to pursue Ukrainian politicians for corruption, and that they intervened before Biden did.

The video shows Biden thought differently…

Now, nearly a decade after turmoil engulfed Ukraine, we find the conflict has escalated into a full-blown proxy war drawing in Russia. Meanwhile, the American commitment exceeds $75 billion, yet key questions remain unresolved about where those funds are actually going and whose interests they serve.

As Victoria Nuland beats a hasty retreat, speculation mounts that the US Department of Justice is finally initiating a long-overdue reckoning for potential abuses of power and graft. Though the administration’s allies preemptively paint Biden as merely a well-meaning elderly man struggling with memory lapses, should Republicans retake power, cries for accountability will intensify.

Taken together, the corruption scandal and the reported rift at the top of Ukraine’s power structure will do nothing to restore or sustain Western confidence about whether Ukraine has a credible pathway to avoiding defeat, let alone achieving victory. Without such confidence, more aid looks increasingly doubtful.

Without real headway being made in the fight against corruption, the broadly pro-western and pro-European constituency from which Zelensky draws most of his support is also likely to weaken. A European future will look less attractive to people who see Western support as simply propping up a corrupt elite.

And even if, as is likely, support for European and transatlantic integration will remain high, Zelensky may no longer be seen as its only or most likely champion.

The lives lost in this latest forever war and the wider human suffering resulting from Washington’s Ukraine adventurism demand a true accounting and public reckoning. People deserve to know the extent of any corruption or ulterior motives driving this costly intervention. The rumours, if substantiated, could unravel the official narrative justifying this endless conflict.

“WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”
― Smedley Butler, War is a Racket…

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