Ukraine says it has discovered embezzlement of 40 million worth

Ukraine says it has discovered embezzlement of $40 million worth of arms purchases

The Ukrainian security services have uncovered a new case of embezzlement, in which, in particular, Defense Ministry officials were involved.

The SBU, the country's main intelligence and security service, has revealed that Ukrainian military and business leaders embezzled $40 million in an arms purchase early in the war started by Moscow.

The embezzlement took place in August 2022, six months after the Russian invasion of the country, as part of the purchase of 100,000 mortar shells abroad that were never delivered, according to an SBU press release published on Saturday night.

The funds (1.5 billion hryvnia) were actually embezzled by officials of the Ministry of Defense and the Lviv Arsenal company in charge of the purchase with the cooperation of a foreign company, this source says.

A suspect in custody

“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.

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