During an interview on ICTV on Sunday 10 March, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko promised to guarantee zero tolerance for corruption and punishment for anyone who steals.
Poroshenko said that for five years, constant, systematic work has been done to combat corruption, and that today the situation has improved considerably.
“I want to remind everyone what the situation was like in the defense industry and the army in 2014 – everyone had been stealing the entire time since the start of Ukraine’s independence. Ministers and prime ministers alike sold off and destroyed the army. They were bought at high prices...” he remarked.
“I want to emphasize that this entire time we have been resolutely fighting against embezzlement in the army. 400 criminal cases have been initiated, 120 charges have been brought forward. Court sentences have been received. The directors of companies have been fired or indicted,” the president noted.
He especially stressed that corruption in the defense sector is unacceptable.
“Zero tolerance for corruption. And so it is completely unacceptable when someone today steals in the army. My reaction will be very quick, but at the same time, I will in no way allow this information leak to be used for attacks against the army, for attacks against our defense industry,” Poroshenko promised.
The president explained that such attacks against the army will weaken it and slow the rate at which the latest weaponry can be supplied. At present, there are plans to equip the Ukrainian army with cruise missiles, high-precision weapons, anti-tank systems, attack drones and other types of weapons.
“That is why my reaction will be absolutely unequivocal – the law enforcement organs have every opportunity. At my request, around a dozen additional criminal cases have been initiated, searches have been carried out and charges have been brought against all the defendants. There are even count verdicts against directors,” the head of state reported.
Poroshenko noted that he would not discuss the court verdicts, but observed that rapid, decisive action is required in the current situation.
An independent journalist investigation recently revealed that Ihor Hladkovskiy, director of the Ukrainian defense concern Ukroboronprom, had organized for smuggled Russian components to be used in military equipment for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
On 6 March, Andriy Rohoz, director of OptimumSpetsDetal, was accused of evading 26.6 million hryvnia ($1.1 USD) in taxes in a deal to supply parts for the state defense concern.