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Why Blinken’s Visit to Ukraine is Sign of Trouble in Washington

 / Go to the mediabankUS Secretary of State Anthony Blinken talks to the media during a news conference / Go to the mediabankInternationalIndiaAfricaUS Secretary of State Antony Blinken has embarked on a two-day surprise visit to Ukraine. This is Blinken’s first trip to Kiev for a year. What message has he brought to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky?Antony Blinken arrived in Kiev to show Washington’s support to Ukraine and announce $175 million-$200 million in new US aid as well as a larger package amounting to $1 billion, according to the US press.The secretary of state’s visit came as the third month of Ukraine’s botched counteroffensive has wrapped up, with the Kiev regime unable to boast any military gains. However, the Ukrainian military claims that they made some progress here and there.Still, the topics mentioned by the Western media aren’t the centerpiece of Blinken’s visit, according to Larry Johnson, retired CIA intelligence officer and State Department official.

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«I think this is just a sign of the trouble with the policy set,» Johnson told Sputnik. «They’re trying to figure out what to do next because the majority of American people do not support [the current policy]. They’re coming into the political season, getting prepared for elections next year. The Biden administration is under pressure domestically. [A g]rowing number of Democrats are very upset and outraged with his border policy allowing all these illegal immigrants to flood across. They’re now hitting the states of New York, Massachusetts and California, and it’s creating problems for those governors. So, you know, I think when you take it all together, they’re trying to figure out what to do next.»Per Johnson, Blinken is the message bearer in the first place. He is neither the driver of Washington’s foreign policy nor his stature is similar to that of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, according to the CIA veteran: essentially Blinken is carrying the instructions that he’s been given to share.

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Johnson does not rule out that the US secretary of state may also touch upon the issue of the anti-corruption fight in Ukraine, as details of bribery of Ukrainian officials and overbuying of weapons supplied to Ukraine are still being uncovered.Earlier this year, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh cited CIA sources saying that the Ukrainian president and his entourage embezzled around $400 million of US money in 2022 alone. US economic aid to Ukraine is at risk from corruption in the Kiev government and the Ukrainian private sector, the State Department Inspector General’s Office warned in July.Russia’s Special Operation in UkraineCIA Warned Blinken Ukraine ‘Counteroffensive’ Bound to Fail, Hersh Says17 August, 12:56 GMTAlas, the corruption in Ukraine goes well beyond Zelensky, noted the CIA veteran: «It’s endemic to the Ukrainian government, to the military.»Most recently, Zelensky sacked Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov whose name is associated with several large-scale scandals, from inflated prices on army food and fuel supplies to a winter jacket procurement row, corruption-driven draft evasion and payoff schemes, and weapons pilfering and smuggling-related criminal allegations.On September 5, Ukraine’s authorities arrested Igor Kolomoisky – one of the country’s most powerful tycoons – who was rumored to be Zelensky’s former patron. Kiev is accusing Kolomoisky of fraud and money laundering.»There’s something just very off about getting rid of the previous defense minister for ‘corruption’,» noted Johnson. «Why wasn’t he arrested? Well, he wasn’t arrested. They’re talking about giving him another job. So this is political theater. I think he’s removing him so that they can at least maybe have a potential scapegoat to point to for this failed counteroffensive. But if this is really about corruption, he would be arrested. I mean, heavens, they arrested Kolomoisky ostensibly for corruption. And he’s not even a government official.»AnalysisBiden Flogs a Dead Horse by Sending $250Mln in Arms to Ukraine 30 August, 16:40 GMTThe botched counteroffensive appears to have seriously undermined Washington’s Ukraine plan. What’s worse for Team Biden – US financial or military assistance cannot currently fix the situation on the ground, according to Johnson.»The only thing that would change is that the United States suspended, cut off all military and financial assistance. This war would end in two or three days, I think. They would not be able to sustain the fight. Otherwise, it does not matter what weapons system or how much aid the United States gives, it’s not going to change the situation on the battlefield with Ukraine losing,» Johnson concluded.AnalysisNo, Biden Can’t Wage Forever War in Ukraine26 August, 18:25 GMT


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