In an interview with Radio NV, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko emphasized that he was not part of the recently uncovered corrupt schemes in Ukraine’s state-owned defense industry company Ukroboronprom.
“I emphasize that President Petro Poroshenko has not been involved in any corrupt schemes. I assert and emphasize this. I was not aware of any corrupt schemes. And I tell you this today with a completely clean conscience, and I can honestly look even the law enforcement organs in the eye,” Poroshenko said.
The president also expressed exasperation at the fact that the investigations into corruption in Ukroboronprom had been underway since 2016, the case had not yet been taken to court, and yet the information was leaked a week ahead of presidential elections.
“What did you wait three years for? What did you still need, and why isn’t the case in court? This is a question for the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine, for the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecution and for all the law enforcement organs,” Poroshenko remarked.
On 25 February 2019, a team of journalists from Bihus.info published an investigative film which argues that Ihor Hladkovskiy, Vitaliy Zhukov and Andriy Rogoza used front companies to supply state defense companies with smuggled Russian components at inflated prices. The perpetrators are believed to have embezzled at least 250 million hryvnia ($9.32 million) through the scheme.
Out of the three suspects, only Rogoza has been arrested, and on unrelated fraud and tax evasion charges. Until recently, Vitaliy Zhukov had no status, and was listed as an acquaintance who introduced Rogoza to Ihor Hladkovskiy.
Ihor Hladkovskiy dismissed the investigation as a fake, but his father Oleh was nevertheless fired from his position as first deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine in connection with the scandal.