The Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine opened three criminal cases on the facts of embezzlement and embezzlement of budget funds in especially large amounts allocated for the needs of the Armed Forces. This was reported on the website of the department. Under suspicion of law enforcement officers were former senior officials. Their names are not specified.

According to the GPU, violations of the law were committed in the execution of the state defense order for the production of 152-mm HE shells for the Hyacinth artillery complex. Ammunition was produced by LLC Rubin-2017 (Kiev).

“Also, the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations includes information on the illegal use of budget funds in the manufacture of the 82-mm Verba mortar and a pre-trial investigation has been launched into the purchase of Oncilla armored vehicles by the Polish company Mista at inflated prices,” the GPU said in a statement.

"Preying on the war"

Ukrainian media associate the first two criminal cases (on the purchase of shells for the Hyacinth and 82-mm mortar "Willow") with the figure of Sergei Pashinsky. After Euromaidan, he worked for several months as an acting Head of the presidential administration. Then Pashinsky held the posts of chairman of the Verkhovna Rada committee on defense issues and head of the supervisory board of the Ukroboronprom concern.

Pashinsky repeatedly found himself in the center of corruption scandals related to the supply of military equipment and weapons. In March 2018, a journalist (now a deputy from the Party of the Servant of the People) Alexander Dubinsky published an investigation in which he accused Pashinsky of "earning money and death."

The journalist believes that the politician, along with Ivan Vinnik, a deputy from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, “owns a whole galaxy of companies that receive defense orders and profit from the war.” “The pearls of their business empires,” he called the Ukrainian armored vehicles LLC, the Tasko corporation and the Rubin-2017 LLC (supplies APU shells for the Hyacinth).

“The Tasco Corporation, specializing in ammunition disposal, is known for trying to become a key producer of cartridges for the state with an order volume of $ 1 billion after strange explosions of military depots in Kalinovka, which resulted in air strikes of ammunition worth $ 600 million” - Dubinsky said.

Pashinsky also gained fame as the initiator of the creation of mortars "Willow" and "Hammer". In August 2015, on his Facebook page, he lamented that the APU is equipped with outdated Soviet systems. In this regard, he decided to support the development of new types of weapons, including mortars

“This, of course, is a small step in the system of increasing our defense capability, but together we will continue to do everything possible and impossible to not only arm our army, but also restore the colossal potential of the Ukrainian military-industrial complex,” Pashinsky wrote then.

  • Sergei Pashinsky inspects a new mortar for the APU
  • Facebook
  • © Sergiy Pashinsky

However, the initiative of the head of the defense committee turned into tragic consequences. So, in July 2016 in the Nikolaev area during the firing from "Hammer" one soldier was lost. Two years later, in the Rivne region, three Ukrainian soldiers became victims of a rupture of the barrel of this mortar. In total, 13 people were killed in incidents with the Hammers - such data were provided by the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko in 2018.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko suspended the operation of the "Hammer" and instructed the Minister of Defense and the General Staff of the Armed Forces to understand the causes of the emergency. According to the military, in two years of using the "Hammer" in the troops, 8 explosions occurred due to the abnormal operation of the gun.

On October 7, the Pechersky District Court of Kiev imprisoned Pashinsky until December 4, 2019. True, the reason for the arrest was not corruption activity, but the shooting from an award-winning Glock 19 pistol at a resident of Kiev suburb Vyacheslav Himikus on the night of January 1, 2017. Ukrainian got a gunshot wound in the leg. Chemicus claims that Pashinsky opened fire for no reason, while at that moment in a state of intoxication.

In a conversation with RT, the director of the Ukrainian Institute for Analysis and Policy Management, Ruslan Bortnik, expressed bewilderment that Pashinsky and other representatives of the Poroshenko team still have not been criminalized for embezzlement in defense. According to him, the leadership of Ukraine and law enforcement authorities are slow in investigating corruption schemes that led to billions of dollars in budget losses and deaths.

“It is not clear what the Attorney General Ruslan Ryaboshapka is doing. It is hard to say what new cases against the "former" are brought up with reluctance, and it is hard to say what fate they will have. Several months passed, and the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine did not complete a single high-profile investigation about the thefts in the defense industry by representatives of the previous government, ”Bortnik said.

Procurement technique

The purchase of foreign military equipment is not the first time to cause a great resonance in Ukraine. For example, in the summer of this year, the media reported that the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine purchased about 200 Oncilla armored vehicles instead of the Ukrainian counterparts Dozor-B.

The deal with the Polish company Mista was carried out contrary to the promise of Petro Poroshenko and the head of the National Security and Defense Council Alexander Turchinov (2014-2019) to place an order for a large batch of Dozors (now there are about 10 units in the Armed Forces).

According to Ukrainian media, the military justified their choice in favor of Oncilla with serious defects in the domestic car. In particular, they found through cracks up to half a meter long in the area of ​​the engine.

In addition to importing new military equipment, the Ukrainian authorities practice the purchase of far from the most modern models in the countries of the former socialist camp. In the spring of 2018, the Ukrainian army received 30 BMP-1AK of the Polish company Wtorplast. These cars were produced in Czechoslovakia and were in service with the army of the GDR.

According to RT sources at Ukroboronprom, the beneficiary of this transaction was Sergey Pashinsky. The enterprises under his control purchased parts of the BMP-1AK in Poland. Then the cars were assembled at the Zhytomyr Armored Plant and transferred to the Ministry of Defense. The final price of these infantry fighting vehicles for the APU was five to seven times higher than the purchase value of Polish components.

It is noteworthy that the practice of importing used Soviet armored vehicles remained after Vladimir Zelensky came to power and the ensuing large-scale rearrangements in the Ministry of Defense and leadership of the country's defense industry.

  • Repair and restoration of Ukrainian armored vehicles
  • RIA News

So, in August 2019, the Progress company (subsidiary of Ukrspetsexport) imported supported armored vehicles from Eastern Europe. We are talking about the supply from Poland of armored MT-LB tractors developed back in the 1960s.

In a commentary on RT, columnist for the magazine Arsenal of the Fatherland, Dmitry Drozdenko, said that Kiev’s purchase of used military equipment in Europe was partly forced.

According to the expert, after the breakdown of military-technical cooperation with the Russian Federation, Ukraine lost the opportunity to receive components for the production of armored vehicles. To some extent, this deficit is filled by importing Soviet samples from former members of the socialist camp.

“Deliveries of foreign cars to Ukraine, including not the newest ones, are a consequence of not only corruption. The Ukrainian defense industry remained in the last century. The technological level of products manufactured in modern Ukraine is worse than Soviet models. Having cut off contacts with the Russian Federation, Kiev deprived itself of the opportunity to produce more or less high-quality weapons, ”Drozdenko emphasized.