Scandalous official in charge of procurement in Defence Ministry fired

Bohdan Khmelnytskyi, the head of the state procurement department at the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, who is involved in a food procurement scandal, has been dismissed from his position. Anastasiia Radina, Head of the Anti-Corruption Committee of the Verkhovna Rada [the Ukrainian parliament – ed.], has reported this.

Source: Radina on Facebook

Quote from Radina: "Khmelnytskyi, the head of the state procurement department at the Ministry of Defence, and [Vyacheslav] Shapovalov, Deputy Minister of Defence, have been fired."

Details: In addition, Radina has pointed out that Oleksii Reznikov, the Minister of Defence, "does not have any legal claims towards an author of journalist investigation."

Likewise, a representative of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine has stated that a criminal case was opened because of possible abuse of office during arrangement of the contracts from 23 December 2022. Pre-trial investigation is going on at the moment.

Previously: Khmelnytskyi has already been involved in a corruption scandal; in August 2022, as Ukrainska Pravda’s sources said, there was a case about embezzlement of US$580,000 of the ministry’s funds during the procurement of military ammunition. The Defence Ministry declared that UP’s information "was not true".

Background:

  • On 21 January, ZN.ua, referring to the agreement of the Ministry of Defence on the procurement of food, reported that the ministry purchased food for servicemen at a cost two- to three-times higher than that in Kyiv stores. Bohdan Khmelnytskyi, who was involved in a case of embezzlement of US$580,000 during the procurement of military ammunition, was the one who signed the December agreement with the food company on behalf of the ministry.

  • The Ministry of Defence called this information a lie and manipulation and promised to contact the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU).

  • Oleksii Reznikov, Minister of Defence, rejected the accusations of corrupt practices in the Ministry and linked the emergence of information about tenders to the Ramstein Defence Contact Group, saying that the person responsible for the leak of information would be punished.

  • In mid-January, the State Bureau of Investigation announced that it had blocked a corruption scheme for large-scale looting of food for the military. In addition, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine said it is investigating alleged abuses by the Ministry of Defence in the procurement of food for the military as part of a criminal investigation that began before it was published in the media.

  • Vyacheslav Shapovalov, Deputy Minister of Defence, resigned and was fired on 24 January amid the scandal with the food procurement for high prices.

  • On 24 January, the National Agency on Corruption Prevention reported that it had demanded from Oleksii Reznikov to conduct an internal investigation regarding Bohdan Khmelnytskyi, the head of the State Procurement Department. The agency had already made an administrative protocol on him.

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