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Ukrainian Military Officials Uncover Over $200 Million in Corruption

by | Jan 28, 2024

Ukrainian Military Officials Uncover Over $200 Million in Corruption

by | Jan 28, 2024

36 ukraine wra

The newly installed Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov has uncovered over $200 million in corruption during his first four months in his post. Umerov’s predecessor was dismissed over corruption allegations. 

Earlier this month, Umerov announced that an audit had uncovered $262 million in corruption. For example, a Ukrainian official paid $40 million for 100,000 artillery shells that were never delivered. 

“Ukraine’s SBU security service said on Saturday it had uncovered a corruption scheme in the purchase of arms by the country’s military totaling the equivalent of about $40 million,” Reuters reports. “The embezzlement involved the purchase of 100,000 mortar shells for the military…But no arms were ever provided with some funds then moved to other foreign accounts.”

The Ukrainian military desperately needs artillery shells. Kiev has nearly depleted its stockpile of 155 mm rounds for its American-made Howitzers. The shortage of artillery rounds is one of the many challenges facing Ukrainian soldiers attempting to hold off advancing Russian forces. 

Corruption has long plagued Kiev. In September, Former Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov resigned as evidence of his illegal activity surfaced. Last year, Ukrainian President Zelensky dismissed every recruitment official over systematic corruption.

However, the White House has attempted to dismiss claims that Kiev is facing a corruption problem. The administration often asserts that allegations of Ukrainian illegality were Russian propaganda. American officials have denied that weapons and aid sent to Ukraine are being misused and rebuffed efforts to create an oversight office for Ukraine aid.

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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