The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has collected a large-scale evidence base implicating the former Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine and the former head of the State Procurement Department of this agency, Interfax-Ukraine reported.

“Officials are involved in the theft of budget money for the purchase of body armor and winter uniforms for the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) units performing combat missions at the front. The illegal activities of the defendants caused damage to the state budget of Ukraine for a total amount of over Hr.1 billion ($27 million),” the SBU said on its Telegram channel on Friday, June 16. Defense officials organized the deal in early March 2022, according to investigators.

The SBU did not name the alleged culprits but did say that both suspects are already in custody on suspicion of similar crimes.

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On Feb. 2, Viacheslav Shapovalov, former Deputy Defense Minister, was arrested for misappropriating funds meant for AFU supplies. At the same time, Director of the State Procurement Department, Bohdan Khmelnytsky was also implicated.

“To implement it, they purchased almost 3,000 bulletproof vests from a foreign company for more than Hr.130 million ($3.5 million). At the same time, more than Hr.100 million ($2.7 million) of this amount was appropriated by the participants in the transaction,” the SBU said.

The SBU claimed that a commodity examination initiated by the SBU found that the real market value of this protective equipment is only Hr.25 million ($678,000). Moreover, the purchased bulletproof vests are substandard and do not correspond to the declared protection class.

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Artem Shylo, who had also worked for the SBU, is being held for two months on Hr.30 million ($770,000) bail.

According to the statement, the SBU established that the organizers of the “scheme” purchased a wholesale batch of low-quality winter jackets and pants for the AFU soldiers for a total of Hr.900 million ($24.4 million).

“The acquired gear does not meet the requirements for use in the cold season in conditions of intense hostilities,” the SBU said.

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Searches at the place of work and residence of the defendants found documentation and other material evidence of their illegal activities.

“Based on the collected materials, the investigators of the SBU informed both former officials of suspicion [a preliminary step to indictment] for obstruction of the lawful activities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations,” the SBU said.

 

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Comments ( 1)

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Philip Tummarello
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Upon conviction they should be executed by a firing squad of combat soldiers who did not have winter clothing.

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