Ukraine the scam with ammunition paid for 40 million and

Ukraine, the scam with ammunition paid for 40 million and never received: the new case of corruption in the armed forces

Another crackdown on corruption Ukraine To reassure international investors, Washington and Brusselsbut which also shows that the path of KyivA “clean” state or one that respects Western standards is still a long way off. According to a statement released on Saturday, Ukraine's intelligence agency SBU has arrested five people, including former and current senior Defense Ministry officials, responsible for the theft of nearly $40 million intended for the purchase of ammunition for the army. An order for 100,000 mortar shells was allegedly paid in full and in advance to the supplier, a little-known Ukrainian defense company, Lviv Arsenal, which then diverted part of the amount to the accounts of another affiliated entity in the Balkans. To the troops of Kyiv who have been fighting and dying against Moscow for almost two years, but not a single ammunition has arrived.

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Ukrainian military intelligence said it had seized the stolen money, which would be reinvested in the defense budget as a sovereign wealth fund, and had handed over arrest warrants to five suspects, including the former and current heads of the department responsible for military equipment at the ministry, as well as some Company executives. One of them is in custody after he was stopped while trying to leave Ukrainian territory. There Frauddiscovered last month dates back to August 2022, when Oleksii was leading the defense Reznikov, then removed in September 2023 after several high-profile corruption scandals in the ministry involving the purchase of ammunition, food, medical equipment and clothing for the military at prices inflated by excessive commissions. At the helm is now Rustem Umerov, who promised “zero tolerance for corruption in the Defense Ministry” when he took office.


At stake is not only the credibility of the government, which has an Achilles heel when it comes to justice the political, economic and social future of Ukraine. Hopes for the country's reconstruction and EU accession are based on the fight against corruption, a phenomenon that has been less visible in public life since the Maidan revolution of 2014, but which remains in the shadows and which is linked to the conflict in contracts has found fertile ground for supplying the armed forces of Kyiv. Nevertheless, civil society has become increasingly intolerant of an issue as sensitive as it is crucial to the morale of public opinion in times of war, especially now that almost every family has a loved one who has fought or is still fighting at the front. Perhaps that is why President Volodymyr Zelensky's decision to transfer anti-corruption authority to the SBU, an agency he directly controls, rather than to the already existing relevant bodies, has sparked controversy and fears of a cover-up of sensitive cases. Kyiv is ranked 116th out of 180 countries in Transparency International's 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index and is one of only ten countries that have steadily risen in the rankings, rising 28 places in a decade. A good result, but one that does not calm the fears of the United States and the European Union, where the continuation of military and financial aid remains at stake.


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