US To Keep Paying Salaries For Tens Of Thousands Of Ukrainians During Government Shutdown

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023 - 11:25 AM

A newly aired "60 Minutes" segment entitled The unexpected way American tax dollars are being used in Ukraine has uncovered that the US government is paying the salaries of some 57,000 Ukrainian civic services personnel

The report details the various ways non-military aid is being spent at a moment GOP Congressional leaders are intensely debating whether to move forward with a proposed defense budget that includes Biden's push for $24 billion more in military assistance for Kiev. Watch: 

"The U.S. has spent just over $43 billion on military aid to Ukraine since Russia invaded. That's equivalent to about 5% of the American defense budget. European countries combined have contributed around $30 billion," the 60 Minutes report narrates. 

And this includes the following stunning detail

American taxpayers are financing more than just weapons. We discovered the U.S. government's buying seeds and fertilizer for Ukrainian farmers… and covering the salaries of Ukraine's first responders – all 57,000 of them

That includes the team that trains this rescue dog – named Joy – to comb through the wreckage of Russian strikes looking for survivors.

Political commentator Collin Rugg has noted in relation to the potential government shutdown looming for Oct. 1st: "Yes, your tax dollars will be used to fund Ukrainian salaries while American citizens are forced to wait for their pay while the government remains closed," he said on X.

Rugg is referencing the fact that the Biden administration and Pentagon have declared that Ukraine aid will remain exempt from any potential government shutdown. This means Ukrainian salaries will still be paid, even while federal employees aren't, in the event of a shutdown.

Here's more from the 60 Minutes video, featuring a Ukrainian woman "thanking" US taxpayers for footing the bill for Ukrainian employees, thanks to USAID funding: 

Tatiana Abramova: Especially in the condition of war, we have to work. We have to pay taxes, we have to pay wage-- salary to our employees. We have to work, don't stop.

Holly Williams: Why does that help Ukraine win the war?

Tatiana Abramova: Because economy is the foundation of everything.

American officials from USAID – the agency in charge of international development – helped Abramova find new customers overseas. In the midst of war, her company is supporting over 70 families. 

Meanwhile, a fresh Newsweek headline: US Will Pay Salaries to Thousands of Ukrainians During Government Shutdown...

"US taxpayers will pay the salaries of thousands of Ukrainians, even as the country faces a government shutdown at the end of September."

But as noted above, this is more like tens of thousands of Ukrainian salaries.

"A federal government shut down will effectively begin on October 1 if Congress isn't able to pass a funding plan that Biden signs into law," Newsweek underscores. "If that happens, federal agencies have to stop all nonessential work and will not send paychecks for as long as the shutdown lasts."

Appropriately, the 60 Minutes episode invoked memory of the late John McCain...

In total, America's pumped nearly $25 billion of non-military aid into Ukraine's economy since the invasion began – and you can see it working at the bustling farmers market on John McCain Street in central Kyiv.

The late senator is revered in Ukraine because he pushed the U.S. government to start sending arms to the country... back in 2014. 

Here's how 60 Minutes presents bipartisan support for Biden's blank check for Ukraine:

While in Kyiv, we learned that three of McCain's former colleagues were also in town: Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Richard Blumenthal and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham. They don't normally agree on much – together, though, they're some of the staunchest supporters of U.S. funding for Ukraine's resistance.

Sen. Lindsey Graham: They're on track to break the Russian army, and the only way they could possibly lose is if we pull the plug on them.

Indeed Zelensky himself while meeting with US Senators in Washington last week said something similar - that without continuing American funds, the war effort is doomed. He urged Congress to keep the billions in aid flowing, and sought to present that Moscow will one day expand aggression beyond just Ukraine.

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Meanwhile, the "aid from the heart of every ordinary American person" will continue (whether those ordinary Americans like or not)...