#Commentary of Roman Malyutin on fraud in financing of Ukrainian Defense Ministry, or How else to lie to steal more

Ukrainian Prime Minister Groysman said that he was to initiate the dismissal of the head of the state enterprise “Ukroboronprom.” Practically simultaneously in the Western press there appeared accusations of the enterprise management in corruption, and NABU begins check of the company for corruption. All this takes place against the background of increasing military rhetoric. In particular, Poroshenko announced an increase in the military grouping in the Donbass, and the Ukrainian media on the front pages talk about the supply of lethal weapons from the United States to Ukraine.

Let us consider these facts in more detail. So, the corruption scandal in the state defence enterprise. The first thing to note: over the past three years, the company’s official revenues have more than doubled. Only in 2016, Ukroboronprom earned $1 billion. At that, the formal reason for Groisman’s dissatisfaction with the Cabinet was the non-payment of salaries to employees of one of the concern’s enterprises for several years. The degree of cynicism of this situation is quite difficult to comment on.

Information about how much is stolen and how much bribes are received vary. So, Lutsenko speaks about withdrawing of $200 million of the defensive budget from the state enterprise through fictitious structure. And Askold Krushelnytsky in an article for Foreign Policy writes about fraud in the amount of $39 million.

However, you can earn not only on the sale of weapons and the Ukrainian defence industry. It can be very profitable for one to buy weapons, for example, from the US for $41.5 million. Even the Ukrainian press questions whether Ukraine needed American rifles in the presence of cheaper Ukrainian prototypes.

A cherry on top of the coverage of lethal US weapons supplies was a campaign in the Ukrainian press to glorify the military power of Ukraine, which allegedly the whole world supports and which Russia is afraid of. At the same time, Ukrainian publications hastily claimed that they would receive deliver not only rifles, but also anti-tank complexes Javelin. Literally a few days later the same mass media had to change their mind on the go – nobody was going to sell Javelins to Ukraine yet.

One thing is clear: war is the ideal time for those who control the arms trade. So, it is profitable to continue to fight for those who have profits from this. Who is fanning military rhetoric? The first in this list, of course, is Pyotr Poroshenko. So, at the beginning of the month, he announced an increase in the military contingent in the Donbass. It is difficult to call this a step towards reconciliation and de-escalation of the conflict.

Many representatives of the Ukrainian government made a lot of money on the war. During the years of confrontation, their appetites did not decrease, but only grew. They are not affected by the fact it is residents of the Donbass that pay for their super-profits. They again and again kindle a fire of war, hiding a thirst of irrepressible profit behind the pseudo-patriotic rhetoric.

Roman Malyutin, the DPR People’s Council deputy

Official website of the DPR People’s Council

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