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Ukraine's Defense Ministry purchased last year $33 million worth of "winter" clothes for the military, which were in fact summer attire, according to an investigation by Dzerkalo Tyzhnia published on Aug. 10
The Defense Ministry reportedly did not secure on time the import of fabric from Asia to produce winter attire for soldiers, the investigation said.
As winter approached, the ministry signed a contract with the Turkish company Vector avia hava yukleteri for the supply of winter clothing.
The company provided 233,000 jackets worth $20 million and 202,000 pairs of trousers worth $13 million, Dzerkalo Tyzhnia said, citing Ukrainian customs officers.
Based on data obtained by the journalists, the jackets provided by the Turkish company weighed only 1.1 kilograms. In comparison, Chinese jackets offered by a Bulgarian supplier weighed 2 kilograms. According to Dzerkalo Tyzhnia, this matches the difference in weight between summer and winter jackets.
Dzerkalo Tyzhnia also uncovered manipulation with the documents accompanying the shipment. The price of a batch of 4,900 jackets worth $142,000 was in another document "amended" to $421,000.
The journalists said that the margin of the profit remained with the Turkish company Vector avia hava yukleteri, owned by Ukrainian Roman Plentov from Zaporizhzhia.
In a subsequent criminal investigation, the Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise established that the "winter" jackets and trousers supplied by the Turkish company "cannot be used for their intended purpose."
Dzerkalo Tyzhnia's investigation from January revealed that the armed forces had been trying to procure food at prices that were several times higher than in Kyiv grocery stores. The corruption scandal sparked rumors about a possible replacement of Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov until President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Reznikov would remain in his post.