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Ministry urges large retailers to participate in food procurement for Ukrainian army

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 1, 2023 6:04 PM 1 min read
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Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko on Feb. 28 proposed that large retail chains participate in the Defense Ministry's food procurement for Ukraine’s Armed Forces.

“Currently, companies that purchase products from large retail chains are engaged in the supply of food products. Since you already have these products in your assortment, you need to solve the logistics issue,” Svyrydenko said. “Our joint task is to ensure an uninterrupted food supply to the army.”

The announcement comes amid an ongoing corruption scandal in which the Defense Ministry is accused of purchasing food at inflated prices.

It started in January, when the Ukrainian newspaper ZN.ua published an investigation indicating that Ukraine's Defense Ministry purchases food for the military at prices that are between two and three times higher than those at Kyiv grocery stores.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) reported on Jan. 23 that it had begun investigating possible corruption in the Defense Ministry's food procurement.

On the same day, Defense Minister Oleksiy 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 would look for the alleged whistleblower.

Following the scandal, the director of the procurement department of the Ministry of Defense Bohdan Khmelnytskyi, and Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov were dismissed on Jan. 24.

NABU opens case into alleged corruption in Defense Ministry procurement
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