The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine announced that it has started criminal proceedings after finding that a military unit had misused more than $1 million of state funds, AFP reported, quoted by BGNES.
The investigation comes as President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has stepped up his fight against corruption as part of reforms pushed by the West.
An audit of a military unit based in Ukraine’s northern Chernigov region found several violations totaling $1.1 million in losses.
“The biggest violation is the unjustified increase in the value of generators purchased in 2022, which led to losses of $1 million,” the ministry said.
“Furthermore, during the period from October 2022 to April 2023, when the generators were critically needed by the army, most of them were not delivered to the military units, but were accumulated in the warehouses,” the statement said. The case has been turned over to law enforcement.
In recent months, Ukrainian authorities have sought to root out bribery in the Defense Ministry, in part to appease Western allies sending military aid.
In August, Zelensky fired all regional officials responsible for the mobilization of military personnel, and in September he fired his defense minister amid a series of corruption scandals.
Earlier this month, prosecutors announced that two senior defense officials were suspected in a massive fraud case related to the purchase of military uniforms from a Turkish firm.
Ukraine is fighting an uphill battle against systemic corruption. The fight against bribery is one of the key reforms that the European Union requires as a prerequisite for membership.