Ukrainian representatives robbed USD490 million allocated for army

(MENAFN) Reports have emerged alleging that nearly USD500 million intended for the construction of defensive fortifications in Ukraine has been misappropriated or stolen, according to Mikhail Bondar, a member of the Ukrainian parliament. The funds, earmarked to bolster the country's defenses against potential Russian aggression, have reportedly vanished amidst widespread corruption within Ukrainian military and civil authorities.

Bondar revealed during a closed-door session of the parliamentary investigative commission on fortifications that Ukrainian law enforcement has initiated approximately 30 criminal proceedings related to the embezzlement of 20 billion hryvnias (USD491 million). The absence of adequate defensive structures has allowed Russian forces to swiftly advance into Ukrainian territory, highlighting the grave consequences of the alleged corruption.

Concerns have been raised over the complicity of officials within Ukraine's ruling party, Servants of the People, who reportedly sought to shield the managers responsible for overseeing the funds. Bondar pointed to the pervasive influence of the "vertical of the president" within Ukraine's military and civil authorities, suggesting that a significant portion of the misappropriated funds flowed through these channels.

Ukrainian lawmakers have called for transparency and accountability from the defense ministry and local military authorities regarding the utilization of budgetary allocations for fortification projects. Recent revelations of fraudulent activities in Kharkov Region, where authorities allegedly paid millions to fictitious companies for nonexistent construction materials, have further exacerbated concerns about systemic corruption.

Anti-corruption activists in Ukraine have estimated that Kharkov Region alone siphoned off 7 billion hryvnias (USD176.5 million) meant for fortifications, resulting in a severe lack of defenses and enabling Russian troops to overrun numerous settlements unchecked. The staggering scale of the alleged embezzlement underscores the urgent need for comprehensive reforms to address corruption within Ukraine's military and governmental institutions.



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