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Deputy defense minister summoned his resignation in wake of corruption scandal
Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov has summoned a letter of resignation on Jan. 24 following a procurement scandal that rocked Ukraine.
Ukrainian newspaper ZN.UA reported on Jan. 21 that Defense Ministry purchases some foods for the military at prices two to three times higher than those at Kyiv grocery stores.
The ministry called corruption allegations "unsubstantiated" but thanked Shapovalov, who was in charge of procurement, for taking the fall.
It is unknown whether Shapovalov was asked to resign following journalists' findings.
Journalists claim to have obtained a recent Defense Ministry contract for food procurement of soldiers in 2023 for the total amount of Hr 13.16 billion ($360 million). The document was concluded on Dec. 23.
According to the report, the Defense Ministry agreed to buy eggs at Hr 17 per item, while in Kyiv’s grocery stores, the price per egg is closer to Hr 7. A kilogram of potatoes to be ordered for Ukrainian soldiers costs Hr 22, while the price in grocery stores is about Hr 9, ZN.UA reported.
The publication alleges that the inflated prices indicate a possible corruption scheme.
On Jan. 23, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov came out with a statement calling inflated prices a “technical error” of the contractor, who “made a mistake while transferring data from one table to another.”
Reznikov dismissed the investigative report as “nothing but manipulations” and promised repercussions to those who leaked the contract to journalists, adding that the Security Service will look for the alleged whistleblower.