Ukraine‘s Security Service (SBU) has exposed a corruption scandal involving a $40 million arms purchase by the military, leading to investigations targeting five senior figures in the defence ministry and an arms supplier.
The scandal revolves around a contract signed for 100,000 mortar shells in August 2022, with an upfront payment made, including funds transferred abroad, but no delivery of arms.
The SBU revealed that officials from the Ministry of Defence and executives at arms supplier Lviv Arsenal are implicated, accused of embezzling nearly 1.5 billion hryvnias in the shell procurement.
Despite the contract being agreed upon six months after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, not a single artillery shell was dispatched.
One suspect has been detained while attempting to leave Ukraine, currently held in custody.
The prosecutor general assures the recovery of stolen funds, returning them to the defence budget, as corruption remains a significant hurdle for Ukraine’s EU aspirations.