KIEV, March 1. /TASS/. Ukraine’s state defense company Ukroboronprom may be liquidated following an investigation into alleged corruption and graft in the country’s armed forces, a lawmaker who heads a temporary parliamentary investigative commission has said.
"In order to implement the national security law which is now in force, we will re-organize the Ukroboronprom concern. This is to put it mildly. We will de-facto physically destroy it. All of the enterprises will need to be subjected to a central body within the executive branch, which will serve as a regulator in the sphere of defense and security," Ivan Vinnik of the Pyotr Poroshenko bloc was quoted as saying by the Ukrainian News agency.
On Monday, the investigative anti-corruption TV program Our Money exposed contraband purchases of spare parts for Ukrainian defense industries. As follows from the journalistic inquiry, since 2016 a number of government officials sold to Ukrainian defense industries spare parts for military equipment at grossly overstated prices. In some cases surcharges were as high as 300%. The spare parts were either smuggled from Russia or taken from Ukrainian military warehouses.
The fraudulent schemes totaled about $9.3 million. The inquiry found that involved in the shady deals were several officials from Poroshenko’s entourage, including Igor Gladkovsky, son of the first deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleg Gladkovsky, his business partner Vitaly Zhukov, one Andrei Logoza and the defense industry concern Ukroboronprom. Several political groups demanded setting up an investigative commission, while the leader of the Batkivshchina party, Yulia Timoshenko, urged initiating the procedure of Poroshenko’s impeachment. In her opinion, the head of state might be charged with high treason.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday dismissed the reports of illegal supplies of dual-purpose equipment from Russia as "absurd," adding that all such products were under special control "in order to prevent the uncontrolled movement."
Ukroboronprom was created as a result of the 2010 administrative reform and comprises more than a hundred defense industry enterprises - 125 state-run firms and nine joint stock companies.