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Defense Ministry uncovers misallocation of additional pay across several military units

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 31, 2023 11:42 AM 2 min read
Soldiers with the 32nd Mechanized Brigade on the move in May, two months before being going to the frontline. (Oleksandr Bordian / Courtesy)
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After conducting audits on around 40 military units, the Defense Ministry discovered that over Hr 123 million ($3.4 million) in additional compensation had been unjustifiably paid out.

According to the ministry’s Internal Audit Service, the additional payments were made to personnel who weren’t deployed to the front lines and didn’t perform any combat tasks.

"It is unfair when those who are not under direct fire or do not provide support to those under direct fire receive extra pay for combat,” said Deputy Defense Minister Yurii Dzhyhyr.

Commanders of the inspected military units gave a “too loose" interpretation to the terms "combat operations" and "combat (special) task," paying additional remuneration at their discretion, the ministry wrote.

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In one of the cases, personnel of a pontoon-bridge company serving in Kyiv Oblast several months after Russian forces withdrew from the region were reportedly paid a monthly supplement of $2,700.

They received nearly $180,000 from September to December 2022 when Kyiv Oblast was no longer included in the list of regions in combat zone, according to the ministry.

The Defense Ministry said it was consulting with the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces to ensure that only those who perform combat tasks and participate in hostilities would receive additional remuneration.

The leadership of the Defense Ministry has undergone extensive personnel changes recently, starting with the resignation of Oleksii Reznikov as the department's head.

Reznikov was forced to step down following two major procurement corruption scandals and was replaced by Rustev Umerov early in September.

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