The Ministry of Defence sets clear requirements for food suppliers to the army. The main task is to ensure guaranteed food quality for hundreds of thousands of people who change their deployment locations and, according to the command's decision, quickly concentrate in certain areas or move to where they are needed, Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has said in a commentary to LB.ua.
"These are the realities of war. We need a margin of safety to respond flexibly to these needs. Otherwise, there will be disruptions. That is why we set clear requirements for suppliers. Unfortunately, some people do not want to understand this. There are a number of people whose goal is not to supply the army, but to force the military to adapt to the wishes of a certain business group during the active phase of hostilities. I don't know what the reason is, but there is an obvious problem with priorities. This thoughtless activity is already causing damage," he said.
According to the minister, we were one step away from the army being left without food in April.
"The government had to save the situation and extend the existing agreements, making a separate decision on this. The same people are actually demanding that the Armed Forces return to the Soviet food system. So that there is neither quality nor variety. And again, only for the sake of a certain group of companies' comfortable earnings. The Ministry of Defence demands guarantees of supply, quality and compliance with the ration. That's it. But for some reason, these requirements are called 'excessive' or 'inadequate'. The Ministry of Defence is ready to buy through Prozoro and publish prices. As soon as the appropriate platform is created, we will do it. But I will definitely not allow the system of uninterrupted catering for our defenders, which has withstood the stresses of wartime, to be destroyed. If someone does not control their political ambitions or has made promises to someone that they cannot fulfil, this is no reason to deprive the army of food, especially at such a crucial time," he stressed.
Since January, there have been scandals surrounding the Ministry of Defence, including those related to food. Journalists published information that the Ministry of Defence allegedly buys food for military personnel at two to three times the price of Kyiv stores.
The media published a copy of a UAH 13.16bn contract signed on 23 December by the Ministry of Defence for catering services in 2023 for military units stationed in Poltava, Sumy, Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv and Cherkasy regions. The contract was signed with Active Company LLC.
For comparison, the media chose the Silpo chain of stores in a residential area of Kyiv. Prices for the most popular food items were overstated 2-3 times, according to the journalists. For example, the cost of one egg in army procurement was set at UAH 17, while 10 eggs cost UAH 170.
Reznikov said that the Ministry of Defence does not purchase individual products, but rather purchases a comprehensive catering service. That is, the delivery of a certain set of products to military units, and in some cases, cooking.
On 28 February, the Ministry of Defence published annexes to contracts on the cost of catering services for the Armed Forces, as well as prices for catalogue food products purchased by suppliers.