Scandal unfolds in Ukraine: Defense Ministry discovers misuse of military pay

Written by Henrik Rothen

Oct.31 - 2023 4:42 PM CET

Ukraine's Defense Ministry discovers misuse of military pay.

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The Defense Ministry of Ukraine has found that over Hr 123 million ($3.4 million) was improperly paid as additional compensation to military personnel.

According to Kyiv Independent, this discovery came after audits were conducted on approximately 40 military units.

The Internal Audit Service of the ministry reported that these additional payments were made to personnel who were not deployed to combat zones or involved in any combat tasks.

Loose Interpretation of Terms

Deputy Defense Minister Yurii Dzhyhyr expressed concern over the misuse of funds, stating that it was unfair for personnel not under direct fire to receive extra pay for combat.

The ministry noted that commanders of the inspected units had loosely interpreted the terms "combat operations" and "combat (special) task," thereby paying additional remuneration at their discretion.

In one particular case, a pontoon-bridge company serving in Kyiv Oblast received a monthly supplement of $2,700, amounting to nearly $180,000 from September to December 2022. This was despite the fact that Kyiv Oblast was no longer considered a combat zone during that period.

The Defense Ministry is now consulting with the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces to ensure that only those involved in combat tasks and hostilities will receive additional pay in the future.

The ministry has recently seen significant personnel changes, including the resignation of Oleksii Reznikov, who was replaced by Rustev Umerov in September following two major procurement corruption scandals.

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