Corruption Found in Ukrainian Defense Ministry

Corruption Found in Ukrainian Defense Ministry

( – Personnel from the Ukrainian military ministry and an armaments company stole about $40 million meant to purchase 100,000 mortar rounds for the Russian conflict, according to a report by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) on January 27.

Despite the fact that the embezzlement involved state funds rather than foreign aid, the SBU said that the scam will have an impact in both Brussels and Washington, where the continuation of military and financial support, as well as membership in the European Union, are at stake.

A person was apprehended for attempting to cross the border with Ukraine, and five individuals were charged, per the SBU’s statement made on January 27. The maximum sentence for their crime is twelve years in jail.

In its pursuit of expedited NATO and European Union membership, Kyiv is cracking down on corruption, which prompted the inquiry. Before Kyiv is allowed to join either alliance, their officials have requested extensive anti-graft changes.

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy won the 2019 election on a platform of anti-corruption, even before Russia’s Ukrainian invasion in February 2022. The president and advisors have presented the recent dismissals of high-ranking officials, especially Ivan Bakanov, the former chief of the SBU, in July 2022, as evidence of their determination to combat corruption.

The present probe began in August 2022, according to security authorities, when officials inked a $39.6 million deal for artillery rounds with the armament’s manufacturer, Lviv Arsenal. After receiving payment, the firm planned to send the money to an international corporation, which would then ship the munitions to Ukraine.

According to the authorities, the funds were routed to other accounts in the Balkans and Ukraine, but the products were never delivered. Ukraine’s prosecutors have already confiscated the money, and they will remit it to the national military budget.

This episode shows how the Biden administration could have been more forthcoming about the whereabouts of the $60 billion in humanitarian and economic help and the $48 billion in aid for their military.

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