CBS issued a partial retraction Monday after a documentary aired suggesting the bulk of weapons sent to Ukraine fails to reach the front lines.
“We removed a tweet promoting our recent doc, ‘Arming Ukraine,’ which quoted the founder of the nonprofit Blue-Yellow, Jonas Ohman’s assessment in late April that only around 30% of aid reached the front lines in Ukraine,” CBS stated in a tweet. The news outlet added a similarly worded “editor’s note” to the top of its written coverage of the documentary.
Ohman cited numerous logistical challenges in the delivery of needed equipment, CBS noted. Quotes from other figures in the documentary who are involved in the provision of Ukraine-bound supplies alluded to corruption and a lack of accountability of U.S. aid, CBS reported. (RELATED: As US Sends Billions To Ukraine’s Gov’t, One Expert Is Sounding The Alarm On Rampant Corruption)
Blue-Yellow’s founder and CEO Jonas Ohman accused CBS of misconstruing his comments and emphasized the situation has greatly improved since the documentary’s filming in April, according to the organization’s tweet. A “parallel storyline” in the report resulted in a negative depiction of the situation, with information being taken “somewhat out of context,” Ohman stated.
Ukraine Foreign Minister Dymetro Kubela welcomed the retraction, but called for CBS to launch an internal investigation of the who and why behind the documentary’s release, according to Twitter. “You have misled a huge audience by sharing unsubstantiated claims and damaging trust in supplies of vital military aid to a nation resisting aggression and genocide,” Kubela said.
Welcome first step, but it is not enough. You have misled a huge audience by sharing unsubstantiated claims and damaging trust in supplies of vital military aid to a nation resisting aggression and genocide. There should be an internal investigation into who enabled this and why. https://t.co/kkA0boaLXX
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) August 8, 2022
The CBS doc is not the first time that a need for oversight procedures has been suggested. Ukrainian-born Indiana Republican Rep. Victoria Spartz drew ire from Ukraine’s foreign ministry in July when she called for investigations into Ukrainian President Zelenskyy’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak.
Spartz claimed intelligence revealed “alleged dealings in connection with Russia,” according to a press release from her office. “We owe this level of rigor and accountability to the American people as Ukraine urgently needs increased levels and speed of security assistance,” Spartz stated.
— Rep. Victoria Spartz (@RepSpartz) July 8, 2022
In the same month as Spartz’s calls for investigations, Zelenskyy fired two top defense officials over alleged collaboration with Russia, according to NPR. The president gave one of his former advisers, Ivan Bakanov, and prosecutor Iryna Venediktova the boot in July after reportedly discovering the agencies they ran were home to dozens of employees who had engaged in criminal dealings with Russia.
Accountability for U.S. military equipment proved questionable in July when the Italian financial corps found and seized a shipment of U.S.-made drones in a southern port city, according to Decode 39, a news outlet based in Italy. The drones arrived from Canada and were ultimately supposed to end up in Russia, the outlet noted.
CBS’s retraction occurred the same day that the Department of Defense (DoD) announced an additional $1 billion in aid for Ukraine’s defense and security needs. The United States has committed a total of $9.8 billion of security assistance to Ukraine since Biden took office, according to a release from the DoD. High mobility artillery rocket systems, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and various anti-armor systems are included in the advanced military weaponry dispatched to Ukraine’s war efforts, the report showed.
U.S. defense attaché Brigadier General Garrick M. Harmon arrived in Kyiv in August for arms control and monitoring, CBS’s retraction noted.