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Ukraine’s Minister of Defense has conducted unannounced audits, reported on violations to clean up the system

Rustem Umerov said his team detected “numerous violations” and reported on the first contracts, which were terminated and money returned to the state.
Rustem Umerov, Ukraine’s Minister of Defense. Photo: ICTV

Rustem Umerov was appointed Ukraine’s new minister of defense on 6 September 2023. He announces he will “clear the system.”  One of the first steps became the introduction of a new agency, State Pperator of the Rear, to ensure that procurement of food, clothes, fuel, and all other non-lethal products would be conducted according to the ordinary procedure with open tenders.

Ukraine launches a new agency in the Ministry of Defense to make procurement more efficient

Now, Umerov said they “have the first significant results” after his team conducted the unannounced audit of other old agencies of the ministry.

In particular, the Minister wrote, former and current officials of the Ministry and their accomplices were charged with laundering almost UAH 1.5 billion ($39 million) from the Ministry of Defence while purchasing mortar rounds for the Armed Forces, according to the preliminary investigation.

Also, the Ministry’s team conducted unplanned inspections of warehouses with products in military units. They discovered the lack of food worth more than UAH 50 million ($1.4 million) in total.

We monitor the violations and deal with each case separately. As a result of the previous trip last week, the Ministry of Defence changed the supplier for some military units. I am grateful to the Security Service of Ukraine, the State Bureau of Investigation, and the Prosecutor General’s office for their coordinated and professional work,” Umerov wrote.

He also said there were “numerous violations” detected at the military enlistment offices. “The Ministry of Defense team is working to systematically correct all deficiencies. We will continue, and there will be more news,” the minister concluded.

He also said that the ministry has already returned to the budget UAH 1.5 billion ($39 million), which was laundered during the corruption scheme for the purchase of artillery shells for the Armed Forces. He also said that the Ministry of Defence has already won the court case against Lviv Arsenal LLC for the non-delivery of mines and the compensation of another UAH 1.5 billion ($39 million) is expected soon.

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