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Prosecution says probe into state purchase of bad body armour complete

A former deputy defence minister is among the suspects.

Prosecution says probe into state purchase of bad body armour complete
Photo: Max Levin

The pre-trial investigation into the case of former Defence Ministry officials who embezzled UAH 1.4 billion during the purchase of low-quality ammunition has been completed, according to the website of the Prosecutor-General's Office.

The suspects include a former deputy minister of defence, the head of the ministry's department of public procurement and materiel supply, and the head of the central quality control department.

They are charged with embezzlement of property and obstruction of the legitimate activities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations (Part 5 of Article 191, Part 2 of Article 28, Part 1 of Article 114-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

The investigation established that during the martial law, the suspects organised the purchase of low-quality bulletproof vests using funds allocated from the state budget. In 2022, the Ministry of Defence and non-resident companies entered into a number of contracts for the purchase of personal protective equipment in violation of the prescribed procedure. The ammunition was purchased at inflated prices with 100% payment.

The former officials ignored proper quality control and accepted the personal protective equipment without inspection, and then transferred the low-quality products to the military warehouses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

According to the findings of the examinations, the bulletproof vests do not comply with the state and military standards of Ukraine, technical requirements and cannot properly protect Ukrainian servicemen.

In total, as a result of the suspects' illegal actions, certain units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were not properly equipped with personal protective equipment worth over UAH 1.4 billion.

The suspects are currently in custody. They and their defence lawyers have been granted access to the pre-trial investigation files, after which the indictment will be sent to court.

Last February, UP reported that former deputy director of the Defence Ministry's public procurement department Bohdan Khmelnytskyy, former Deputy Defence Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov, and former deputy director of the state-owned enterprise Promoboronexport Volodymyr Tereshchenko were suspected of selling low-quality bulletproof vests.

In October 2023, Khmelnytskyy and Shapoval were facing new suspicions in the case of low-quality bulletproof vests.

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