Ukrainian military and business leaders embezzled $40 million (about $53 million Canadian) from Moscow in an arms purchase early in the war, the SBU, the country's largest intelligence agency, has revealed.
The embezzlement occurred in August 2022, six months after the Russian invasion of the country, in connection with the purchase abroad of 100,000 mortar shells that were never delivered, said an SBU press release broadcast on the night of Saturday to Sunday became.
According to this source, the funds were actually embezzled by officials of the Ministry of Defense and the company responsible for the purchase, Lviv Arsenal, with the cooperation of a foreign company.
“A 'suspicion report' was served on a high-ranking Defense Ministry official and his predecessor, the director and sales manager of a Ukrainian company and the representative of a foreign company,” the Prosecutor General's Office said.
One of the suspects is in custody after being arrested “while attempting to leave Ukraine,” the SBU said.
The investigations were carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense, emphasized the SBU and the public prosecutor's office.
Since the outbreak of war in February 2022, several cases of corruption have emerged in Ukraine, particularly within this ministry.
In August 2023, President Volodymyr Zelensky fired all regional officials responsible for recruiting military personnel due to salary exemptions.
The fight against corruption is one of the main conditions that the Twenty-Seven imposes on Ukraine as part of its application for membership in the European Union.