On 21 April, an interdepartmental investigation team of the National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine and the State Bureau of Investigation notified a former deputy minister and a former head of a department of the Defence Ministry that they are suspected of abuse office during food procurement for the Armed Forces.
According to the NABU website, the suspects caused almost UAH 12 million in losses and obstructed the Armed Forces of Ukraine's direct defence activities.
The criminal proceedings were opened under Part 2 of Article 28, Part 2 of Article 114-1, Part 2 of Article 28, Part 2 of Article 364 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
According to the investigation, in 2020, the Defence Ministry held tenders for the procurement of catering services for the Armed Forces for 2021.
"The former deputy minister instructed the head of the department to enter into additional agreements with service providers. According to them, the main contracts exclude the suppliers' obligations to transport food and timely replenish the Armed Forces' intact food stocks. This means that the Armed Forces of Ukraine now have to do this, spending additional budgetary funds and involving personnel and equipment. As a result, the state suffered incurred UAH 12 million in losses," the NABU said.
The maximum punishment under such charges is imprisonment for up to 15 years.
As reported earlier, another scandal broke out this January over the procurement of food for the military. According to ZN.ua, the Defence Ministry allegedly buys food for military personnel at two to three times the price of food in Kyiv stores.
The Defence Ministry dismissed the allegations, saying they were manipulative and misleading. Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov stressed that the ministry does not purchase individual products, but buys a comprehensive catering service. The NABU then began to verify the published information about possible abuses at the Defence Ministry.