A new corruption scandal is developing in Ukraine. It appears that high-ranking Ukrainian officials have been involved in smuggling Russian spare parts from military hardware of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
On February 25, journalists from the Ukrainian TV program “Our Money” specializing in corruption investigations reported that spare parts were being smuggled to Ukraine for defense enterprises.
According to the report, some officials in Ukraine have been selling spare parts for military hardware to Ukrainian defense enterprises with a markup of up to 300% since 2016, smuggling them either from Russia, or from the depots of Ukrainian military units. The deals were worth around $9.3 million.
The investigation pointed out that officials close to Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko are involved in the scheme, in particular, the son of First Deputy Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council Oleg Gladkovsky, Igor, his business partner Vitaly Zhukov, a certain Andrei Logoza, and also the country’s defense conglomerate Ukroboronprom.
The journalists also reported about another scheme involving the purchase of Russian An-26 altimeters where the profit of the accused was estimated at least US$300,000, which was paid from Ukraine’s national budget. Ukroboronprom paid $580,000 for the equipment whose purchasing price was about $85,000, the investigation says.
The important thing is that this investigation publicly revealed that since the start of the conflict in eastern Ukraine in 2014, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have systematically been receiving large numbers of Russian spare parts, components and packaged systems. The Ukrainian side reportedly used UAE-registered firms to buy these things in Russia. However, at least a part of these spare parts, components and packaged systems were smuggled directly from Russia.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces depend on Russia-made spare parts, components and packaged systems because of the type of its military equipment, most of which were made designed in the USSR. It employs various measures to obtain them in Russia where main production sites are located as well as from Belarus, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, which buy large numbers of Russian equipment, and some storage facilities in eastern European states. The Ukrainian behaviour is logical and expected.
The main issue is actions of Russian comanies and security forces. Apparently, Russian sppecial services are informed about types and number of Ukrainian miltiary equipment. Therefore, the amount of needed spare parts, components and packaged systems needed for the Ukrainian Armed Forces can be estimated to a high degree of accuracy. The Russian side is also aware how many supplies of this type are needed for the UAE. In this situation the question arises: Why did the Russian side allow and international companies and intermediator firms to buy military supplies, which then are being delivered to the Ukrainian Armed Forces?
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