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Dismissed deputy defense minister denies wrongdoing in procurement scandal
Former Deputy Minister of Defense Viacheslav Shapovalov, who was dismissed after a corruption scandal and currently remains in a pre-trial detention center, has denied any personal wrongdoing in comments made on the matter to Ukrainska Pravda via his attorney.
Shapovalov was accused of lobbying for food contracts for the military at inflated prices. According to the report, he is also suspected of purchasing bulletproof vests, helmets, and clothing of poor quality for military needs for over Hr 1 billion ($27.2 million).
Shapovalov also stressed that the Ministry did not make any complaints about his work.
"For the entire time I was in office, there were no complaints about my work. Before the notification of suspicion, no one told me anything, and there was no assumption.”
“No investigative actions were conducted with me before the search was conducted at my home,” said Shapovalov.
On Jan. 21, the news outlet ZN.UA released an investigative report claiming that the Defense Ministry was purchasing food for soldiers at prices that were higher than usual.
The ex-deputy stated that he had nothing to do with the selection of suppliers, nor with the formation of prices or other terms of contracts.
“Accordingly, I never lobbied for anyone," he said.
Concerning the quality of the products allegedly selected by Shapovalov, he emphasized that “NATO standards differ from Ukrainian standards.”
Furthermore, according to the ex-deputy, all of the supplied products had certificates from designated and accredited international laboratories, and pointed out that officials of the Ministry of Defense had “no reason not to trust the international quality certificates.”
Regarding the purchase of poor-quality military ammunition at higher prices, Shapovalov also denied his involvement.
“Bohdan Khmelnytskyi was my subordinate in the structure of the Ministry of Defense. I never gave him any instructions on the choice of supplier or terms of supply. I personally did not deal with the processing of contracts for price or other significant conditions.”