Ukrainian defence officials and corporate leaders sought to steal about $40 million through a fraudulent arms procurement scheme, the country’s main intelligence and security agency said Saturday.

The corruption allegations were confirmed by Ukraine’s defence ministry, which has served implicated officials with notices of suspicion.

They come as Republicans in the United States resist President Joe Biden’s efforts to send more aid to Ukraine, and as former president Donald Trump, who has spoken out against US military support for Kyiv, appears to be on a glide path to the Republican nomination.

Ukraine’s SBU security service said that current and former senior officials of the defence ministry and heads of affiliated companies “attempted to steal almost UAH 1.5 billion ($40 million) from the budget by purchasing 100,000 mortar rounds for the Armed Forces.”


They allegedly signed a contract to buy the shells from the arms supplier Lviv Arsenal in August 2022, after which the defence ministry “transferred the full amount stipulated in the signed document to the company’s accounts”.

From there the funds went to a foreign commercial entity that was supposed to deliver the ammunition but “not a single artillery shell” was ever sent to Ukraine, according to the SBU.

Officials accused of participating in the scheme include the current and former heads of the defence ministry’s Department of Military and Technical Policy, Development of Armaments and Military Equipment, as well as the head of Lviv Arsenal.

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Poland's ties with Ukraine have become increasingly strained over border blockades, with at least four incidents of Polish farmers spilling Ukrainian grain from lorries and freight trains.

One of the suspects was detained by the SBU while attempting to leave Ukraine and is currently in custody.

According to Ukraine’s prosecutor general, the stolen funds have been seized and will be returned to the defence budget.

Ukraine has weathered a series of corruption scandals in recent months, including several others within the defence ministry.

In August 2023, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky sacked all the officials in charge of military recruitment across the regions to end a system in which some people were being allowed to escape conscription.


Reining in corruption is one of the conditions the European Union has set for Ukraine as it seeks membership.

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Comments (6)
Joseph Swanson
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Third, I forget. Getting that big scoop...that once in a life time historic great news article is more important than a nation winning a war and it's people surviving and thriving.
Fourth, do any of you "journalists" know why the allies were so successful and won WW2? Because the journalists at the time had an IQ larger than their shoe size and understood what was at risk.
Fifth, but please, by all means. Continue to contribute to the downfall of our nation and people under the auspices of "freedom of the press and anti censorship" which is the age old cry of the communist and communist subversive.
Sixth, IF the war is lost...I can return to this comment section and tell the "journalists" at the Kyiv Post how they contributed to our nation having lost and read numerous articles assigning blame to everyone but themselves and read the profanity / insult laced replies to my comment...oh wait...that will not happen because if russia wins there will be no Kyiv Post.
Joseph Swanson
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First, anyone who reads what I have typed and is familiar with my comments know I am no fan or supporter of corruption, I feel corruption is treason. Traitors should be decaffeinated. Activity like this is what MAY cost Ukraine the war.
Second, this is aimed specifically at the "Kyiv post" and the communist garbage at this online periodical and their communist garbage colleagues who claim they are "journalists."
It would be great if you could locate your brains and stop writing articles such as this, especially during this war. I should not have to explain why. But I forget "journalists" tend to be void of sufficient intelligence-IQ.
Our nation is in the middle of a war.
The United States has abandoned us.
There are elements in the United States, more specifically the republican party who take great joy seeing our tragedy and love peddling their russian master's lies about us.
The United States Congress is controlled by a low IQ monster who refuses to honor the Budapest Memorandum Agreement which is linked to the Non Nuclear Proliferation Treaty and attached to Ukraine’s act of accession to the NPT at the UN.
Mickey Cashen
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So what will happen to the criminals? Will they be tried as the traitors to their country they are or will their status result in a slap on the wrist?
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I hope the Ukrainian prosecutors understands that any attempt to embezzle funds from the military in wartime very likely will cost lives on the frontline. Therefore embezzlement during wartime should be punished equal to multiple murders.
Arthur Turnbull
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Ukraine must consider far harsher punishments than those currently being given out. Corruption in war time is nothing less than treason and should be treated as such - stealing $40 million from the defence budget should get a reward of the firing squad, as it is a crime that can cost the lives of servicemen. Corruption will be the downfall of Ukraine, not Ruzzia and nothing will decrease western support quicker than a belief that any money given is easily stolen. Ukraine must win the fight on the Battlefield, but also the fight must be won in peoples heads and hearts.
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Keep up the good work Ukrainians. Slowly but surely you are exposing and eliminating the corruption that became prevalent under russia's former oppressive rule. Every year it will get better. Your future generations will celebrate your sacrifices to ensure they have a government for the people, by the people. A government that serves rather than extorts from you. Your top leadership in the Zelensky government appear to be on the right path in removing historic russian style corruption. A new era is dawning for Ukrainians. Cheers.