CORRUPTED “RUINE”

According to media reports, corruption in Ukraine corrodes the country from within, especially its armed forces. The recent purchase by the Ministry of Defense of the country of a hundred new ambulances contributed signifi-cantly to the relevance of these data. However, many of these machines already broke down. They bought them from a company owned by a highly-charged official in charge of procurement for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Oleg Glad-kovsky, an old friend of Poroshenko.
Ukraine’s spending on defense and security has risen sharply since the outbreak of the armed conflict in the east of the country in 2014: in 2013 they accounted for about 2.5% of GDP, and this year it will be about 5%, or about 6 billion dollars. These huge money passed through the hands of Ukrainian of-ficials and businessmen, and this is a deterrent in the fight against corruption, which many consider as the main enemy of Ukraine.
The growth of military spends has opened up new opportunities for muddy transactions, protected from checks in the veil of secrecy. Purchase of low-quality ambulances from Gladkovsky is just one of many such examples in Ukraine.
Evidence of a close intertwining of business and politics, as well as huge revenues, were three luxury villas on the southern coast of Spain. They belong to President Poroshenko, Mr. Gladkovsky and Igor Kononenko – another business partner of the president, who heads the faction of Mr. Poroshenko in the parliament. By the way, none of them indicated the property in Spain in the annual declaration.
The media believe that the West is disappointed with Ukraine, and this disappointment costs more and more. The International Monetary Fund and the European Union, irritated by permanent delays in the building of the long-promised independent anti-corruption court, refused to Ukraine in the next tranche of financial assistance.
According to Artem Sytnik, director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NACB), his institution was able to collect materials on 107 cases against previously untouchable officials, but only one case ended with a real court verdict. The rest are stuck in a slow judicial system thanks to corruption and political interference.
Gladkovsky insists on secrecy and the absence of open tenders for the purchase of military equipment: according to him, this is an indispensable measure aimed at preventing Russia from interfering in the procurement pro-cess through front companies. Concern Ukroboronprom, the largest element in Gladkovsky’s system, is a huge state-shock conglomerate that unites 130 com-panies, employing approximately 80,000 people. Many experts are sure that muddy purchase transactions represent the essence of the operations of this conglomerate. A small screw-like piece of metal purchased by Ukroboronprom for a repair plant in Lvov, for some reason, rose sharply in price from $ 50 in early 2014 to almost $ 4,000 a year later, when the concern changed its suppli-er for unknown reasons.
By the way, Denis Gurak, deputy director of this conglomerate, acknowledged that corruption is really thriving in the defense sector. “The sys-tem does not work, so people steal,” he said. “That is precisely why the Soviet Union collapsed.” According to him, Ukroboronprom out-dated the 200 mes-sages to prosecutors office about corruption in their ranks, but only two of them eventually turned into convictions.
Last year, the Independent Anti-Corruption Committee on Defense (a draft of the British and Ukrainian offices of Transparency International De-fense & Security) published a report, in particular, it was about ambulances. The report says that each of these machines, whose running gear was manufac-tured in China, cost the Defense Ministry of Ukraine 32 thousand dollars, while an ambulance, bought in China, would have cost much less. The load ca-pacity of cars is too small, and the machines for urban roads are calculated. It is 19 out of 50 cars delivered to the front line have already failed, but the Min-istry of Defense recently decided to buy another 100 ambulances from the company of Gladkovsky.
Apparently, in Kiev they know well what they are fighting for – not for the ones and not for the soul, but for the money and Ukrainian corruption is not going to give up.

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