A bombshell report that has left Ukraine shocked showed that military officials allegedly embezzled millions of dollars meant for the fight against Russia.
5 Ukrainian officials arrested over theft of $40 million in war funds as Ukraine corruption persists https://t.co/Z1u94DLA2o
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 28, 2024
According to the Daily Caller News Foundation, the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) found that Ukrainian officials stole nearly $40 million meant for procuring ammunition. The SSU reported that an unnamed directorate head in Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) allegedly led the scheme that saw almost UAH 1.5 billion (USD 39 million) meant to purchase artillery shells for the Armed Forces of Ukraine transferred to foreign accounts of an MoD-affiliated intermediary company.
“As a result of the operation, almost UAH 1.5 bln (USD 39 mln) were returned to the state budget after they had been illegally transferred abroad during purchase of a wholesale batch of ammunition,” The SSU wrote in a statement.
Anyone who raised concerns about corruption in Ukraine was written off as a Russian sympathizer https://t.co/EvkGpa5i7h
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) January 29, 2024
According to the SSU, the corrupt scheme was discovered last December and further investigation has led to the arrest of the MoD directorate head who led the scheme.
“The investigation revealed that the official had tried to misappropriate budget funds allocated for state military orders,” The SSU added. “The perpetrator organized a transfer of almost UAH 1.5 billion from the Ministry of Defense balance sheet to foreign accounts of an affiliated intermediary company to buy artillery shells. This amount was 30% higher than the value of an alternative contract concluded by the newly created Defense Procurement Agency.”
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 28, 2024
The Washington Post reported that the funds were meant for the purchase of 100,000 mortar shells that were never supplied.
According to WaPo, the fraudulent scheme began under the tenure of former Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov. The outlet’s report showed that the head of the Department of Military-Technical Policy, Development of Weapons and Military Equipment of the Ministry of Defense, Oleksandr Liev, the current head of this department, Toomas Nakhkur and Yuriy Zbitnev, the arms supplier, have all been detained.
Vitaliy Shabunin, the director of operations for the Anti-Corruption Action Center, a Kyiv-based nongovernmental organization, wrote on Facebook that the development is another strike on the corrupt military deep state.
“This is another … strike by Umerov’s team on the corrupt/incompetent military ‘deep state’ that has been destroying our defense capability for decades,” Shabunin wrote. “Is this the end of fighting with these animals? Nope, rather just the beginning. But the fight of Umerov’s team with this ugly deep state personally impresses me very much.”
The unnamed directorate arrested faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted of the allegations.