This is according to the deputy head of the National Bank of Ukraine, who confirmed on July 17 that the bank has sold $12.4 billion of its gold reserves since late February.
"We are selling [this gold] so that our importers are able to buy necessary goods for the country," said Deputy Governor Kateryna Rozhkova during an interview with a state-owned television station. She denied claims that the gold was being sold to shore up the country's currency, the hryvnia. (Related: Where did the money go? Ukraine set to default on loans after American taxpayers provided tens of billions in aid.)
The claimed amount of sold gold reserves far exceeds the country's reported reserves just prior to the war. During the first quarter of 2022, Ukraine's reserves totaled 27.06 tons of gold.
Estimates of the value of this entire reserve differ. The World Gold Council has pegged the value of Ukraine's gold reserve at $1.69 billion. The Computer and Enterprise Investigations Conference found Ukraine's total gold reserves in May amounted to around $1.605 billion. The most valuable the country's reserve has ever been was in Sept. 2012, when it was valued at $1.978 billion.
If Ukraine was able to sell over $12.4 billion worth of gold since late February, this means that the country has around 491 tons of gold – 18 times larger than its reported gold reserves.
According to Chris Powell, managing editor of the Journal Inquirer, most of the gold reserves Ukraine sold off went to the United States.
Powell claimed that Ukraine first shipped off its gold reserves to the U.S. in 2014 following the Russian invasion and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula for fear that Russia would soon launch an invasion to occupy and annex the rest of the country.
Reports that came out of the country at the time noted that Ukraine moved about 40 tons of gold out of the country via unidentified aircraft that landed at Bristol Airport before taking off again to the United States. The gold transfer was ordered by then-acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who was supported by the U.S. Department of State.
The Federal Reserve and the State Department acknowledged the acquisition at the time, but Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly denied it.
"Today, the Ukrainian central bank acknowledged that $12 billion of its gold reserves recently was sold under pressure of the war with Russia," wrote Powell.
"Since Russia began its attack on Ukraine's non-Crimean territory in February, the United States and its allies have appropriated tens of billions of dollars in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine," he continued.
"So, why would Ukraine need to sell its gold reserves unless doing so was a condition of all that U.S. and European assistance, especially since the United States already had taken custody of the Ukrainian gold? Stripping the wounded of their valuables in wartime always suggests greed or desperation – like desperation to keep the gold price down to support the U.S. dollar and other Western currencies."
Learn more about the war in Ukraine at UkraineWitness.com.
Watch this clip as "The American Journal" host Harrison Smith talks about how American mainstream media outlets are finally acknowledging the rampant corruption in Ukraine.