Huge Corruption Scheme Within Ukraine's Ministry of Defense

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jan.28 - 2024 8:39 AM CET

Photo: Telegram
Photo: Telegram
Huge Corruption Scheme Within Ukraine's Ministry of Defense.

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Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) has uncovered a large-scale corruption scheme within its Defense Ministry, involving the procurement of mortar shells worth nearly $40 million, as announced on January 27.

The SBU's investigation revealed a disturbing collusion involving officials from the Ministry of Defense and managers of the arms supplier, Lviv Arsenal.

"Nearly UAH 1.5 billion was embezzled in the purchase of these shells," the SBU disclosed on Telegram, highlighting the gravity of the situation.

This corruption scandal comes at a critical time when Ukraine is pushing for European Union membership and trying to maintain high morale as the war enters its third year. The incident underscores the ongoing challenges Ukraine faces in rooting out corruption.

The scheme involved high-ranking officials, both former and current, from the Defense Ministry and heads of associated companies.

A key element of this fraud was a contract secured with Lviv Arsenal in August 2022, amidst the full-scale invasion. Despite upfront payments and the transfer of funds abroad, the SBU noted, "no arms were actually delivered, and a portion of the funds was diverted to other foreign accounts."

In a move to bring the perpetrators to justice, the SBU has issued "notices of suspicion" to five individuals connected to the Ministry and Lviv Arsenal. The situation escalated when one suspect was detained while attempting to flee across the Ukrainian border.

This incident not only sheds light on the internal challenges Ukraine faces but also on the resilience of its institutions in combating corruption even during times of war. The SBU's actions signify a crucial step towards transparency and accountability in a nation fighting for its sovereignty and democratic values.

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