In case you missed it over the weekend, Volodymyr Zelensky abruptly fired his nation’s top prosecutor along with the head of Ukraine’s intelligence agency. Several other lower-ranking officials were given the boot as well. Given the lack of any recent news suggesting that these officials had failed to perform their duties, some analysts have been forced to consider the possibility that Zelensky may have had “other motives” for removing them. Perhaps rather than not doing their jobs well enough, they may have been doing them too well. Most of the American media has been endlessly cheerleading for the Ukrainian government and praising the endless flow of cash and weapons to Kyiv from Washington. But now, even the Associated Press has been forced to make note of Ukraine’s history of “rampant corruption and shaky governance.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s dismissal of senior officials is casting an inconvenient light on an issue that the Biden administration has largely ignored since the outbreak of war with Russia: Ukraine’s history of rampant corruption and shaky governance.

As it presses ahead with providing tens of billions of dollars in military, economic and direct financial support aid to Ukraine and encourages its allies to do the same, the Biden administration is now once again grappling with longstanding worries about Ukraine’s suitability as a recipient of massive infusions of American aid.

Those issues, which date back decades and were not an insignificant part of former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment, had been largely pushed to the back burner in the immediate run-up to Russia’s invasion and during the first months of the conflict as the U.S. and its partners rallied to Ukraine’s defense.

The White House quickly tried to paint a better picture of these events. A spokesperson said that Zelensky is “well within his right to appoint whomever he wants to senior positions.” That may be true, but leaders generally need to be able to point to some sort of dereliction of duty when removing officials at that level.

This is hardly the first time that questions of graft and corruption in Zelensky’s government have arisen. There were reasons why Ukraine had made so little progress in attempting to join NATO before the global media anointed Zelensky as the new world leader in the fight for democracy. He had previously had his chief political rival arrested and imprisoned. Foreign aid money frequently seemed to disappear after dropping into the black hole of that country’s coffers. And they have long done business with some unsavory actors in that part of the world. Then there’s Ukraine’s whole history of shady deals with Hunter Biden and his pals. The list goes on.

But now the United States has adopted Volodymyr Zelensky as its long-lost son and a defender of global democracy. While Americans are paying record prices for nearly everything they use and are watching as the United States plunges headlong toward a recession, they are still being asked to fund massive payments and gifts to Ukraine. Anyone who has been paying even the least bit of attention realizes that our government, in concert with other allied nations, is funding a western proxy war against Russia that regularly threatens to escalate into a new world war.

If any of the money that we’ve been funneling into Ukraine is shown to have wound up in the wrong pockets, popular support for the continued financing of this war may plummet. And that might not be the worst thing in the world. Perhaps the White House needs to focus a bit more on the deteriorating conditions in the United States and a bit less on what Putin and Zelensky are up to.

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