The former minister in charge of miliary logistics for Ukraine has been accused of “lobbying for the supply of overpriced food”.
Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) alleged the former deputy defence minister, Vyacheslav Shapovalov, was also involved in supporting contracts for the supply of bulletproof vests, helmets and clothing for the military “of poor quality”.
The SBI said in a “notice of suspicion” that Shapovalov, who was responsible for armed forces logistics, was involved in contracts supplying low-quality goods worth more than 1bn hryvnia ($27.2m).
“He lobbied for contracts for the supply of overpriced food for the military, as well as for the purchase of bulletproof vests, helmets, clothing and other items for the needs of the armed forces of Ukraine of poor quality for a total amount of over UAH1bn [hryvnia],” said the SBI.
“All contracts were concluded on a full prepayment basis.
“The official not only knew about the supply of low-quality products, but also exerted pressure on his subordinates to accept low-quality products at military warehouses and organised repeated laboratory tests of armor plates that failed the initial tests.
“At the same time, he ignored appeals from the Logistics Forces Command of the armed forces of Ukraine regarding the need to ensure proper acceptance control over product quality.”
The SBI said an investigation was ongoing and it was conducting 17 searches at various addresses and had seized large amounts of cash.
The SBI has also detained a “criminal group” accused supplying eggs to the military at a cost of 17 hryvnia (46 cents) each. Losses to the state from the scam were allegedly 4.6m hryvnia ($125,000).
Shapovalov left his post at the end of January. In a resignation letter he said: “Due to the large public outcry, which was largely provoked by unsubstantiated manipulations around the issue of supplying the armed forces of Ukraine, there are risks of destabilising the army supply processes. This is unacceptable during the war with Russia,” according to the Washington Examiner.
In its latest ranking Transparency International (TI) places Ukraine 116 out of 180 countries for corruption perception, with number one being the least corrupt.
It said the country had improved but the war had increased risks.
“Russia’s war of aggression has disrupted some of the reform processes and exacerbated corruption risks,” said TI.
“Reconstruction and recovery efforts can be drastically undermined by wrongdoers pocketing funds, both during the war and after.
“Such a case was discovered in mid-January when investigations exposed war profiteering by the defence and the communities and territories development ministries. The scandal clearly underscores the need for reforms to prevent such violations in the future, from both domestic and global actors.”
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