Ukrainian lawmaker: Almost $500M given to Kyiv for the construction of defensive fortifications has been EMBEZZLED
06/14/2024 // Ramon Tomey // Views

Almost $500 million in aid given to Kyiv to construct anti-Russian fortifications has reportedly been embezzled, according to a Ukrainian lawmaker.

People's Deputy (PD) Mykhailo Bondar revealed this corruption during a closed-door meeting of the Investigative Commission on Fortifications (ICF) of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's unicameral parliament. Media outlets were quick to report on his disclosures on June 9. As a result of the absence of these defensive fortifications due to the money being stolen, Russian forces have made rapid advances in Ukraine – particularly in the northeastern area of Kharkiv.

According to Bondar, Ukrainian law enforcement authorities have launched around 30 criminal proceedings linked to the embezzlement of 20 billion hryvnias ($491 million). This money was originally earmarked for fortifications meant to stem the Russian advance, but eventually went to the pockets of corrupt officials.

The PD pointed out that members of the IFC from the Servant of the People (SN) party "immediately tried to defend the managers of the funds … when they heard such figures." SN takes its name after the eponymous TV show that starred Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. But Bondar mentioned that the "lion's share" of the funds had been disbursed through Ukraine's military and civil authorities – which the lawmaker described as the "vertical of the president."

Other members of the Verkhovna Rada have urged the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and local military authorities to provide information on the use of funds to erect defenses. Last month, media outlets in the country reported that both military and civilian authorities in Kharkiv had paid millions of dollars to fake companies for the supply of non-existent construction materials to build fortifications.

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"For months, Kharkiv … has been a source of Ukrainian cross-border attacks on Russia's Belgorod region. Its proximity has allowed Ukrainian troops to shell the Russian city with multiple rocket launch systems. In May, Russia launched a large-scale offensive on Kharkiv, capturing multiple towns and villages," Russia Today reported.

Kharkiv authorities pocketed money for constructing defenses – with dire results

Ukrainian anti-corruption activists claim that authorities in Kharkiv alone embezzled seven billion hryvnias ($176.5 million) given to them for fortifications along the border with Russia. This lack of defenses has resulted in Russian troops overrunning a dozen settlements in quick succession and killing countless members of the already-undermanned Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU).

In one example, the Kharkiv Department of Housing and Communal Services and the Kharkiv Regional Military Administraton signed contracts worth 270 million hryvnias ($6.8 million) with five companies for the supply of wood. These shell companies were set up immediately after the contracts were announced. According to an anti-corruption report, no bidding process took place and at least two of the firms were owned by the same person.

One AFU commander, Denys Yaroslavsky, lamented this lack of defenses in Kharkiv. He claimed that authorities may have embezzled money intended for their construction – which Bondar's testimony confirmed.

Yaroslavsky, who leads a Ukrainian Special Reconnaissance Unit under the AFU, voiced out his outrage to the BBC's Jonathan Beale in May. According to the commander, Kharkiv's lack of defenses allowed the Russians to simply walk in. (Related: Zelensky blames the world for Russian offensive in Kharkiv, but Ukrainian troops beg to differ.)

"There was no first line of defense. We saw it. The Russians just walked in. They just walked in, without any mined field. Either it was an act of negligence, or corruption. It wasn't a failure. It was a betrayal."

Because of this, Yaroslavsky wants to know what happened to Ukraine's defenses – justifying his indignation over the matter.

"Of course I'm angry," he told Beale. "When we were fighting back for this territory in 2022, we lost thousands of people. We risked our lives. And now because someone didn't build fortifications, we're losing people again."

Head over to for similar stories.

Watch captured AFU serviceman Andrei Myroshnichenko disclosing the corruption and chaos in the Ukrainian military below.

This video is from The Prisoner channel on

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Zelensky and his cronies are trying to cover up a major corruption scandal in Ukraine – what role is the US playing?

Is Zelensky corrupt? He amassed an $850 million personal fortune in the years before the war with Russia.

Zelensky buys LUXURY MANSION in Egypt via his mother-in-law using Western aid money.

Report: Zelensky using proxies to buy LUXURY YACHTS worth $75M with U.S. money.

Ukrainian military STOLE aid money intended for fortifications, so nothing got built.

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