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Audit of Chernihiv Oblast military unit reveals procurement wrongdoing

by Nate Ostiller November 21, 2023 3:20 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers carry a generator in a residential district in Bakhmut, Ukraine, on April 17, 2023. (Photo for illustrative purposes) (Viktor Fridshon/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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An audit conducted by Ukraine's Defense Ministry concerning a military unit in Chernihiv Oblast revealed a loss of more than Hr 38.8 million ($1.08 million) of state funds, the ministry reported on Nov. 21.

One of the primary discrepancies was related to the purchase of generators, which were significantly marked up from their sticker price. The losses related to the generators formed the vast majority of the discrepancies found in the audit.  

Officials from the military unit made extra arrangements with suppliers, the ministry said, which led to the unjustified markup in prices. As a result, 163 fewer generators were purchased than were needed.

In addition, many of the generators sat in warehouses during the winter of 2022-2023, when they were most needed by military units in the region, according to the ministry.

Officials from the unit in question also allegedly obstructed the audit and investigation.

The ministry concluded that the audit findings were turned over to law enforcement agencies to continue the investigation.

"According to the law, we treat obstruction of internal audit activities as a criminal offense," said Deputy Defense Minister Yurii Dzhyhyr.

"We need strong organizational immunity from financial abuses," he added

Corruption allegations involving procurement have previously occurred within the Defense Ministry, most notably a case involving overpriced military jackets.

The case ultimately led to the removal of former Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov in September 2023, whose tenure in office had been tainted by such corruption schemes.

He was replaced by the current Defense Minister Rustem Umerov on Sept. 6.

Reznikov’s tenure as defense chief ends after latest corruption allegations
Oleksii Reznikov led the defense ministry for 522 days, during the country’s toughest time. He also oversaw the ministry through two major corruption scandals that eventually led to his ousting. Following the latest allegations of corruption, this time concerning the procurement of winter attire fo…

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