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U.S. Senate aide investigated for illegally providing sniper gear to Ukrainian military – NYT

26 February, 2024 Monday
15:10

Kyle Parker, senior Senate adviser for the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, known as the Helsinki Commission, is under investigation for unofficially delivering $30,000 worth of sniper equipment to Ukraine

The New York Times reports this.

Parker claims he provided the equipment as a gesture of "unabashed support" to the Ukrainian military.

A confidential report from the commission's director and general counsel reveals that Parker, adorned in Ukrainian military insignia, visited Ukraine's front lines. Despite objections from congressional ethics and security officials, he allegedly recruited a Ukrainian official to receive a U.S. government scholarship. The report suggests these actions, including equipment transfer, might categorize Parker as an unregistered foreign agent.

A representative for Mr. Parker said that “he had done nothing wrong.”

However, Representative Joe Wilson, Republican of South Carolina and the commission's head, argues for Parker's release on national security grounds, expressing concern that the scandal at the commission could jeopardize “future Ukraine aid.”

The report includes public recordings where Parker discussed obtaining equipment for Ukrainian snipers. 

He claimed a relative in Ukraine provided $30,000, collected by volunteers and veterans, which he used to purchase rangefinders and ballistic wind sensors. 

Parker asserts he delivered them to Kharkiv over the Easter weekend in 2022 for frontline sniper use.

While acknowledging possible restrictions on the export of complex models, Parker insists he adhered to export legislation rules.

“You never go into wartime Ukraine with an empty suitcase,” he said.

  • On February 27, US President Joe Biden is set to meet congressional leaders at the White House, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, to resolve aid allocations for Ukraine and prevent a government shutdown.
     
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