Ukraine says army unit misplaced over USD 1 million of funds

An audit of a military unit based in Ukraine's northern Chernigiv region found several violations amounting to 38.8 million hryvnias ($1.1 million) in losses.
Police officers look at collected fragments of the Russian rockets, including cluster rounds, that hit Kharkiv, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Dec. 3, 2022. (Photo | AP)
Police officers look at collected fragments of the Russian rockets, including cluster rounds, that hit Kharkiv, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Dec. 3, 2022. (Photo | AP)

KYIV: Ukraine's defence ministry said Tuesday criminal proceedings were launched after it found a military unit misused over USD 1 million of government funds.

The investigation comes as President Volodymyr Zelensky has intensified his fight against corruption as part of reforms urged by the West.

An audit of a military unit based in Ukraine's northern Chernigiv region found several violations amounting to 38.8 million hryvnias ($1.1 million) in losses.

"The biggest violation is the unjustified inflation of the cost of generators purchased in 2022, which caused UAH 37.1 million in losses," the ministry said.

"Moreover, in the period from October 2022 to April 2023, when generators were critically needed by the military, most of them were not delivered to military units but accumulated in warehouses," it said.

It said the case was referred to law enforcement agencies.

Ukrainian authorities have sought to root out graft in the defence ministry in recent months, in part to reassure Western allies sending wartime aid.

In August, Zelensky sacked all the regional officials in charge of military recruitment and in September fired his defence minister amid a string of corruption scandals.

Prosecutors announced earlier this month that two senior defence officials were suspects in a large-scale fraud case involving the purchase of military uniforms from a Turkish firm.

Ukraine has been fighting an uphill battle against systemic corruption, which was pervasive well before the war.

Tackling graft is one of the key reforms the European Union requires as a prerequisite for membership.

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