Several Ukrainian Officials Are Fired as Corruption Scandal Balloons

This is the headline in the latest online edition of The New York Times.

The article goes on to say:

“The dismissals included governors of several regions in the biggest upheaval in President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government since the Russian invasion began.”

For its part, The Financial Times also has a front page report on the same entitled “Ukraine officials resign as Volodymyr Zelensky moves to ease corruption concerns.” The subtitle goes on to inform us: “Deputy ministers, officials and regional governors among those replaced as president seeks to clean up public life.”

So what is going on?

To their credit, the FT do offer an explanation for the purge, telling us that “President Volodymyr Zelensky…sought to defuse concerns over corruption at a time when he is requesting more western weaponry to repel Russian forces.” We are told the resignations and firings are all about “misuse of state and military funds.”

One of the officials forced out was publicly accused of concluding deals to procure food supplies to the army at inflated prices. Can you imagine that? Others were said to have traveled abroad at the expense of foreign donors. Gosh!

The FT concludes its article with an upbeat comment from the President of the Kyiv School of Economics: “it’s a good sign that the system responded to public pressure. It’s also a sign that democracy here works.”

So much for mainstream spin. Now I take pleasure in offering another analysis of what is going on which does not differ from the link of causality buried in the FT article but takes it several steps further into how the real world works.

My source for this alternative news is the Russian talk show Time Will Tell (Vremy Pokazhet) which by chance I found when flipping channels on the satellite television in my hotel located on the remote and colonial ambiance island La Digue in the Seychelles.

For a more precise geographical positioning, I am now 500 meters from the Plantation House build in 1818, now a national museum-park, where the soft porn movie “Return of Emmanuel” was filmed, and where some Bacardi rum adverts were also filmed. Population of the island – 2,613. Sole industry – tourism.

This is not a bad place to sit out a full-blown NATO-Russia war. Maybe the Russian tourists here know something. In any case my hotel subscribes to Russia’s state broadcaster Pervy Kanal, the hosts to Time Will Tell.

This particular show I know well as a legitimate competitor to the Evening with Solovyov programs that I have cited in my reporting of the past couple of years. The European ban on Russian satellite television has prevented me from following Pervy Kanal. But here we are together again on La Digue.

Today’s show dealt with a number of issues, starting with Polish ambitions to seize the Lvov region of Western Ukraine and to establish ‘colonial control’ over a rump state of Ukraine reaching as far east as the Dnepr. The presenter also informed the audience about the request Polish officials are now quietly passing along to the European Union that they be reimbursed for the cost of the Leopard tanks that Warsaw is about to gift to Kiev.

Then the show moved on to the issue before us, the purge of high officials in the Zelensky regime. The presenter gave us the missing link on a platter, a link that our Western media giants just seem to have overlooked: namely the connection between the ongoing purge and the visit of CIA director William Burns to Kiev last week for talks with Zelensky.

That unexpected visit had been described on CNN as serving to reassure Zelensky of steadfast U.S. support, as well as to share US intelligence on likely Russian military action in the foreseeable future. Of course, there are other US officials who could do this as well or better than Burns, particularly those wearing military uniforms. How much more logical that a CIA Director would be briefing Zelensky on what he must do to clean the stables, to publicly throw out his corrupt buddies if he is to have any chance of getting further funding from the now Republican controlled House It would not be inappropriate to call this ‘regime change’

Panelists on the talk show identified leading members of Zelensky’s Servant of the People party who have been forced from office as folks who were aligned with Boris Johnson. Their replacements are expected to be people more closely aligned with the United States.

So much for democracy at work in Ukraine, Messrs Financial Times..

Gilbert Doctorow is a Brussels-based political analyst. His latest book is Does Russia Have a Future? Reprinted with permission from his blog.

© Gilbert Doctorow, 2023