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Odesa Oblast air defense officer suspected of illicitly selling unit's fuel

by Martin Fornusek December 1, 2023 3:08 PM 1 min read
The State Bureau of Investigation officers with the fuel illicitly sold by an air defense platoon commander in Odesa Oblast. Photo published on Dec. 1, 2023. (State Bureau of Investigation/Telegram)
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A platoon commander of Odesa Oblast's air defense forces is suspected of illicitly selling his unit's diesel fuel, the State Bureau of Investigation said on Dec. 1.

The officer, who was responsible for receiving and distributing the fuel, sold more than 20 of the 30 metric tons of supplies allocated to the unit for personal gain, the bureau said.

The damage the suspect allegedly caused is estimated at Hr 1.4 million ($38,400). The man reportedly reimbursed the sum in full after the start of the criminal proceedings.

The officer is suspected of negligence during military service and faces up to eight years in prison.

In another case, military officials in Kyiv Oblast were charged on Nov. 27 with illegally selling food supplies assigned to a military unit for their own profit.

In collusion with private entrepreneurs, the officials allegedly stole at least 30% of the military food supplies stored in one warehouse, which were then sold in shops, restaurants, and markets, the bureau said.

Under the leadership of previous Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, the Defense Ministry has been marred by several corruption scandals.

One of the main tasks assigned by President Volodymyr Zelensky to Reznikov's successor, Rustem Umerov, was to crack down on corruption and increase transparency in the Defense Ministry and the military.

Rooting out corruption is one of the crucial steps Ukraine has to take in its path toward European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

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