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Reznikov denies dishonest scheme in procurement of military clothing

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 28, 2023 10:26 PM 2 min read
Military uniforms lie on a table at a private textile factory in the city of Kryvyi Rih on June 22, 2022. (Andrii Gorb)
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Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov during a press conference on Aug. 28 refuted reports that the defense ministry had procured summer jackets instead of winter ones for inflated prices, Ukrinform reported.

Earlier in August, an investigation by Dzerkalo Tyzhnia said that the ministry had signed a contract with a Turkish company in September 2022 on the purchase of $33 million worth of "winter" clothes for the military, which were, in fact, summer clothes.

Dzerkalo Tyzhnia also uncovered that the documents accompanying the shipment had been manipulated. The price of some jackets worth around $29 was in another document reportedly "amended" to $86.

Reznikov said during the press conference that prices for military jackets at around $29 are unrealistic, as they usually range between $80-$120.

Presenting examples of both summer and winter jackets at the conference, the minister said that the clothes provided were suitable for the winter conditions as the ministry has not recorded any complaints from the military personnel. Reznikov added that the delivery in question included 180,000 jackets, of which around 45,000 are in warehouses and around 135,000 in use.

Reznikov criticized the media's investigation, saying such reports "mislead society, and worst of all, they also mislead our partners."

"Because from the outside it looks like it's a mess, and then questions arise: should we trust this country?" he said during the press conference.

The investigation added to the pressure against the defense ministry's leadership, already facing several corruption scandals, such as the procurement of food products for the military at inflated prices uncovered in January.

In reaction to the accusations regarding the jackets' purchase, Reznikov said that he is ready to resign if they are confirmed. The minister also promised to provide "all documents, evidence, facts and materials" related to the case so that the winner of the dispute would be obvious.

In turn, he suggested that lawmaker Anastasia Radina, who accused the Defense Ministry of dishonest schemes, and Mykhailo Tkach, a journalist who reported on the scheme for another outlet Ukrainska Pravda, resign from their positions if the claims prove untrue.

Media: Defense Ministry purchased summer jackets instead of winter attire for military in 2022
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
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