Top US watchdogs press for deployment of audit officials to track Ukraine aid: report

AP Photo/Libkos
Ukrainian soldiers on their positions in the frontline near Soledar, Donetsk region, Ukraine, on Jan. 11, 2023. Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Jan. 13, 2023 that its forces have captured the salt-mining town of Soledar.

Top oversight officials at the Pentagon, State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are pressing for the deployment of auditors to Ukraine to monitor the distribution of aid, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Throughout the nearly yearlong war in Ukraine, inspectors general from Defense, State and USAID have primarily conducted oversight from afar and have yet to receive any reports of major fraud involving the more than $113 billion sent to Ukraine in 2022, the Journal reported. 

However, the inspectors general told the Journal that they plan to press for a larger presence on the ground in order to conduct more “comprehensive, robust” oversight.

The recent push comes in the wake of a joint trip to Ukraine, Poland and Germany last month by Defense Department Inspector General Robert Storch, Department of State acting Inspector General Diana Shaw and USAID acting Deputy Inspector General Nicole Angarella.

Shaw told the Journal that part of the purpose behind the trip was to determine whether they needed a presence on the ground in Ukraine for oversight.

As the war nears the one-year mark, Russia appears to have begun its long-feared counteroffensive in eastern Ukraine, sending in tens of thousands of “ill-equipped and ill-trained” new troops, according to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Moscow also renewed its widespread shelling of Ukraine on Thursday, with an even larger bombardment expected on the one-year anniversary of the war on Feb. 24.

Tags Defense Department inspector general Lloyd Austin russia Russia-Ukraine war state department ukraine Ukraine Ukraine aid usaid

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