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How much of the West's money is sinking into the Ukrainian corruption swamp

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

These days, Western "aid programs" for Ukraine are making headlines. Let's take a closer look at the "aid for the Ukrainian state budget".

Ukraine is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, which nobody denies and which is even confirmed by Transparency International, which currently ranks Ukraine 122nd out of 180 countries on its index.

Corruption in Ukraine is on the level of African countries, as it is on par with Swaziland and is framed by countries like Gabon, Niger and Zambia.

The fact that Ukraine is ranked this way is remarkable because Transparency is funded by the West and always portrays Western and pro-Western states very positively, but even Transparency cannot gloss over the situation in Ukraine. Information about Transparency International's funding and how its index is arrived at can be found here.

I already pointed out in 2018 how corrupt Ukraine has become, especially after the Maidan. At that time, the EU alone had already transferred over eleven billion euros to Ukraine, but the only success of these payments was that Ukraine's economic output had halved since the Maidan and salaries had fallen by 70 percent.

Maidan Ukraine was and is a corruption swamp, where the money transferred by the West disappeared into the pockets of (not only Ukrainian) oligarchs without any control.

However, this does not bother anyone, because since the Russian intervention the money from the West has been flowing properly, which we will now take a closer look at.

It is important to make a distinction here, because Ukraine receives firstly aid for its state budget to cover its running costs, and secondly military aid in the form of weapons and money.

We can assume, based on the two-digit billion sums for the Ukrainian army alone, that the West is fully funding the Ukrainian army, so we are only looking at aid to the Ukrainian state budget here.

The Ukrainian state budget

As of August 2022, Ukrainian state spending in the current year is about 1.45 trillion hryvnias, which roughly translates to about 40 billion euros.

This already includes spending on the Ukrainian military, which is now generously covered by the West. The remaining running costs of the Ukrainian state budget for pensions, salaries of civil servants and so on thus amount to well under 40 billion euros.

In addition, of course, despite the war, Ukraine still has revenues from taxes and duties, which amount to about one quadrillion hryvnia, or about 26 billion euros. Accordingly, Ukraine's budget deficit as of August 2022 is about half a trillion hryvnia, or about 13 billion euros. That is about 1.5 billion euros per month.

Western aid to the Ukrainian state budget is more than generous, as a member of the Ukrainian parliament announced on Telegram that Ukraine has already received 752.3 billion hryvnias, the equivalent of almost 21 billion euros, from the West since the beginning of the Russian intervention. The West's aid to Ukraine's state budget exceeds the deficit by more than seven billion euros, but no one asks where the money went.

The gluttonous Ukraine

But that's not all, as Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal is touring the West these days, announcing that Ukraine's budget deficit is five billion euros (or dollars) a month. That would be 40 billion in eight months, which would mean that the entire expenditure of the Ukrainian budget would be taken over by the West, although Ukraine still has revenues.

So the prime minister is obviously lying and setting the figure much too high, which neither Western politicians nor the Western media report or even criticize.

Even greedier is Oleg Ustenko, economic advisor to President Zelensky, who claims in all seriousness that Ukraine's budget deficit is already nine billion dollars per month and could add up to 50 billion by the end of the year. It is clear that these sums and statements by Ukrainian officials are meant for Western audiences to further inflate payments from the West.

But no one in the West asks where all the money actually goes, because quite obviously Ukraine gets far more money transferred from the West than it actually spends on the state budget. The question is: Who is lining their pockets?

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