Dave DeCamp Military Ukraine

CBS Removes Documentary on Ukraine Military Aid After Pressure From Ukrainian Government

Ukraine's foreign minister called for an investigation into the documentary, which found that most military aid wasn't making it to the frontlines.
President.gov.ua, CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

By Dave DeCamp / Antiwar.com

CBS News retracted a documentary it briefly released on Sunday after pressure from the Ukrainian government. The original documentary (watch it hereCBS put out examined the flow of military aid to Ukraine and quoted someone familiar with the process who said in April that only 30% of the arms were making it to the frontline.

“All of this stuff goes across the border, and then something happens, kind of like 30% of it reaches its final destination,” said Jonas Ohman, the founder of Blue-Yellow, a Lithuania-based organization that CBS said has been meeting with and supplying frontline units with aid in Ukraine since the start of the war in the Donbas in 2014. “30-40%, that’s my estimation,” Ohman said.

After the documentary sparked outrage from the Ukrainian government, it was removed from the internet by CBS. In an editor’s noteCBS said it changed the article that was published with the documentary and that the documentary itself was being “updated.”

The editor’s note also insisted that Ohman has said the delivery of weapons in Ukraine has “significantly improved” since he filmed with CBS back in April, although he didn’t offer a new estimate on the percentage of arms being delivered.

The editor’s note also said that the Ukrainian government noted US defense attaché Brig. Gen. Garrick M. Harmon arrived in Kyiv in August for “arms control and monitoring.” Defense attachés are military officers stationed at US embassies that represent the Pentagon’s interests in the country. Previously, it was unclear if there was any sort of military presence at the US embassy in Kyiv after it reopened in May.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the retraction by CBS was not enough and called for an investigation into the documentary. “Welcome first step, but it is not enough … There should be an internal investigation into who enabled this and why,” he wrote on Twitter.

In the documentary, Ohman described the corruption and bureaucracy that he has to work around to deliver aid to Ukraine. “There are like power lords, oligarchs, political players,” he said. “The system itself, it’s like, ‘We are the armed forces of Ukraine. If security forces want it, well, the Americans gave it to us.’ It’s kind of like power games all day long, and so eventually people need the stuff, and they go to us.”

Other reporting has shown that there is virtually no oversight for the billions of dollars in weapons that the US and its allies are pouring into Ukraine. CNN reported in April that the US has “almost zero” ability to track the weapons it is sending once they enter Ukraine. One source briefed on US intelligence described it as dropping the arms into a “big black hole.”

Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.

6 comments

  1. Somebody at CBS needs to lose their head over this. The truth must never be allowed.

    That is the problem with lies. One lie leads to another lie and the whole thing gets complicated and inevitably somebody slips up and tells the truth. I can see why the elites would rather scrape the entire truth/lie thing and silence speech of any kind altogether. We can use the time we would be talking to measure the distance from each other and make sure the 6ft rule is being followed.

    Those who don’t cooperate and continue to tell truths, either by intent or by accident will from now on be sent to the Freedom Jail.

  2. A more appropriate response by CBS would have been to continue the documentary but add the objection by the Ukrainian government.

    In my opinion, Ukraine has acted much like Israel in this war: attempting to manipulate American public opinion and media to favor their narrative, no matter how questionable, and to brand any question or objection as anti-Semitic or pro Putin.

  3. This CBS piece based on reality they found on the ground was supposed to be used as an argument for more weapons push to Ukraine but was released at wrong time when west effectively self demilitarized, gave away all the junk they had and few newer weapons from two decade ago amid failure of main economic trust of their proxy war against Russia and are reevaluating their positions and slowly so far clandestinely easing anti Russian sanctions in fact encasing their violations.

    The Greece, Bulgaria. Romania, Poland, Spain France to name few ran out of military hardware for Ukraine. The US effectively ended their supplies of HiMARS systems while Germany promised three Leopard II tanks first to be delivered as soon as they are … manufactured in first half of 2023 second by the end of 2023 and third in sometime 2024 when the war will be long over. To “rescue” Ukraine came Turkey dumping old outdated armored vehicles for grains and Pro Russian Serbia that is the only country outside Russia and Ukraine that produces Soviet type ammunition and getting rich of it.

    All of that left are empty promises as Ukraine is being effectively abandoned. The recent negotiation between LDPR and North Korea that just recognized Donbas independence established diplomatic relations, about 100,000+ workers (read NK soldiers) to help to rebuilt and defend LDPR dash all dreams to reconquer Donbas whether or not it will be incorporated into RF.

    The Claims that those western weapons magically disappear after crossing border and hence by their own numerous admissions NATO can’t tract them is an absurd especially amid recent Kiev regime disclosures that western special forces operate within Ukraine providing operational support for westerns weapons system.

    The west knows what’s is happening with their weapons but they won’t admit it as it is simply embarrassing to admit to complete chaos and waste of western taxpayers money.

    Most of western weapons are being sent in commercial trucks or railway cars mixed in with civilian cargo as well as civilian passenger traffic to avoid Russian targeting. Some are partially disassembled for better camouflage and dispersion.

    Again to avoid targeting they are not sent to large concentrated warehouses where they can be properly accounted for but to disperse ad hoc locations under secrecy because Russian military intelligence network among ethnic Russian Ukrainians as well as sympathetic civilians are focused on capturing or destroying western weapons. Putin used US post 9/11 slogan to his compatriots: “see something say something”.

    Such paranoid secrecy causes situation that even field many commanders until last moment do not know when and from which particular location western supplies will be coming from. As failure rate of western weapons are high some reported 50% many Ukrainian frontline commanders simply do not want them especially since March there is mostly long range artillery combat and little of direct infantry combat where ATGM or stinger missiles may be helpful. Any soldiers’ criticism of western weapons was declared by Zelensky as treasonous.

    It is logistical nightmare and total confusion sadly a common modus operandi of Ukrainian Armed forces since 2014.

    Most of advanced western weapons are being destroyed by Russians not on frontlines during battles but because of logistical failure and lack of coordination while RF special forces units operating behind enemy lines are specifically hunting for them.

    The US special forces try to coordinate logistics but they won’t wander near frontlines not to be snatched by Russians Specnaz hence they can’t confirm compete custody chain.

    What’s resulting is Ukrainian commanders perception that those weapons and/or ammunition are missing while in fact that are stuck somewhere unable to be delivered or deployed to proper frontlines on time.

    For example many M777 American Howitzers and HiMARS were destroyed by Russian guided artillery (Krasnopol) as they we staging for deployment waiting for ammunition. The one of two self propelled heavy Howitzers sent by Germany stuck in mud in forested area for hours only to be found by one of Russian 1000+ Small and big drones deployed daily along all frontline areas and subsequently destroyed with out one shell shot.

    Additionally Russian early strikes against Ukrainian own military communications network amplified chaos.

    Delivery of US radio communication equipment became another fiasco when despite strong encryption and long range their carrier wave spectrum was easily detectable by Russian electronic warfare units that located such distinct transmission sources and directed air or long range artillery strikes causing hundreds of Ukrainian high ranked officers’ lives before they switched to stolen from civilians single-use damn cell phones.

    Beyond incompetence or neglect many western weapons are simply seized and sold by certain military units that are not destination for those weapons most of all byTerritorial Defense units charged with military policing of their areas of operation and running checkpoints.

    As there is no proper paperwork accompanied with those weapons, no final destination or count for military security reasons many such trucks are simply hijacked by their drivers or TDUs moved to different locations partially or completely stolen and then smuggled out of Ukraine via Moldova to Romania and from there to Middle East or elsewhere. A Ukrainian civilian car was found in Croatia with several American ATGMs while stopped for moving violation.

    Another category of “disappearing” western weapons in Ukraine is selling them to Donbas militia along Donbas frontlines a practice that is continuing since 2014 when starved AFU was selling militiamen dead bodies for up to $5000 each while refusing to take AFU dead listings he, as MIA as they do today.

    In March I saw clandestine video with audio showing Donbas militias buying Ukrainian APC full of NLAWs for total of $20,000 with APC on a house.

    Such frontlines’ transactions are being often made as a result of lack of adequate food and other supplies for Ukrainian troops who must buy them from local population for .. dollars as Hryvna collapsed. Other “missing” western weapons are simply abandoned by fleeing or deserting Ukrainian troops or from captured or surrendered Ukrainian soldiers.

    But most of all western weapons are “disappearing” from Ukraine because of the fact that Ukraine’s was in the past and is now a global center for arms trading and smuggling run by international cartel of arms dealers including from Ukraine and Russia connected to highest echelons of power in Ukraine and abroad.

    In fact such a disappearance of western supplied weapons is not even new as it was former Ukrainian President Poroshenko who lost US favor for Zelensky because he was involved in sales of donated by NATO weapons, to be used against Donbas militia, to MENA countries between 2016-2019 without permission.

    Zelensky a billionaire is definitely aware or perhaps personally involved in such big scale arms trades.

    It is also rumored that Russia via middlemen is actively buying large western military hardware and weapons sold on Ukrainian armament market and supposedly already purchased two French Howitzers and is interested in purchasing HiMARS. In fact MBS was pissed off during recent Biden visit as he was refused to buy one single battery of HiMARS while Zelensky got six and hence MBS is on a market to get one.

    Whether or not cited by CBS numbers of 30% effectively of western taxpayers funded weapons entering combat are correct or not and may have been improved since March as number of western weapons sent to Kiev regime recently slowed to a trickle and hence are better traced, the situation of massive fraud regarding utilization of western weapons amid total chaos did not change at all and will likely get worse as Ukrainian economy collapses creating mass joblessness. Ukrainian corporations default of their debt enter bankruptcy together with collapse of Ukrainian currency Hryvna many to survive will inevitably turn in to arms dealing as a way to survive this needles and senseless catastrophic for Ukrainian state war instigated by NATO.

  4. Don’t worry too much about Ukrainian corruption, don’t we have enough worry about Trump’s possible jailing??
    Or a possible uprising from his Confederate Militias??

    Despite graft and inevitable leakage of weapons, Ukraine is still fighting more effectively than their cousins.

    It is head scratching that Russian best weapon, gas, is poorly used. European gas storage is at normal levels heading to winter. Thusly, Russia has no leverage and Europe has the highest advantage.
    It will not be surprising if Russia will fail and many consequences upon China, such as a Western puppet in Kremlin that pressures China’s north and west fronts. A multi front defense that requires military distraction from Taiwan will be challenging for an opportunity to take the island. China does not realize that USA’s penultimate goal in Ukraine war is to weaken China thru Russian defeat.
    We win another cold war.

  5. Hegel, Durkheim, Machiavelli, Bakunin Hertzen understood revolution and war –Marx did not; revolt has nothing to do with economic decline–rather it regards happy people that wish to enoble themselves protect their sovereignty—akin to Schiller or Freuds concept will or desire…Russia will liberate more nazi occupied territory methodically—until USA surrenders. if this continues into 2023 expect ukraine to become permantly smaller, w perhaps western parts absorbed by poland, Hungary, southern, eastern areas by Russia…”gold never wins a war” Machiavelli…a lesson americans have yet to learn

  6. Say it ain’t so weapons ending up on the black market, Ukrainian officials corrupt! Holy cow batman! CBS give your head a shake and don’t apologize for good investigative journalism that exposes the truth. Stop being hacks for a buffoon who rose way above his last acting job. St Zelensky may yet propel old man “Biden” to help nuke us all as we have no visionary leadership, no leaders of peace, no visionary statesmen only tired old men and their tired old ideas: war, war war! God help us all.

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