Ukraine.. dismissal of a deputy minister on suspicion of corruption and an investigation into corruption in the Ministry of Defense

On Sunday, the Ukrainian government sacked the deputy minister of municipal development on charges of accepting bribes, while the defense ministry announced it was opening an investigation into allegations of inflated contracts for military food products. via Telegram, “The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine orders the dismissal of VM Luzhinkich from the post of Deputy Minister of Municipal and Land Development and Infrastructure of Ukraine.

This comes a day after the official was arrested on suspicion of involvement in corruption.

On Saturday, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau reported that Vasyl Luzincich, who has held the position since May 2020, “received $400,000 to facilitate the conclusion of contracts for the purchase of equipment and generators at inflated prices,” while the Ukraine is facing an electricity shortage after Russian attacks on energy facilities.

Embezzlement and corruption are frequent in Ukraine for decades.

In another case involving suspicions of corruption, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry has denied the allegations reported by the media about the conclusion of supply contracts at prices “two to three times higher” than the market prices of basic food products.

According to news site ZNA, the value of the signed contract for 2023 is about 13 billion hryvnia, or $350 million at the current exchange rate.

The Defense Ministry of Ukraine responded that “Buy the products in question according to the procedures established by law”, believing that the news reported by the media were “wrong”.

The ministry added that the minutes were “published with the intention of manipulating”, referring to the “preparation of documents” with the aim of opening an investigation into the “dissemination” of this “misleading” information which “damages the interests defense during an exceptional period”.

And the Ukrainian Defense Ministry reaffirmed the “principle of tolerance zero against corruption”, emphasizing that “they are in checks course” on the stipulated contracts.

But he announced an “internal audit” and an “emergency meeting” chaired by Defense Minister Oleksic Reznikov scheduled for Monday to shed light on the “procedures and circumstances of the purchase of food for the military for 2023”.

In its statement, the Ukrainian ministry promised that “in case of detection of violations in the activities of officials of the Ministry of Defense, they will be held accountable in compliance with applicable law”.