WORLD NEWS

Ukraine arrests senior Defense Ministry official accused of embezzling $40 million

Dec 23, 2023, 11:44 AM | Updated: 11:45 am

FILE - President Joe Biden reaches out to shake hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ...

FILE - President Joe Biden reaches out to shake hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as they meet in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(CNN) — A senior Ukrainian Defence Ministry official has been detained over allegations he embezzled 1.5 billion Ukrainian hryvnia ($40 million) relating to an artillery shells contract, according to the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU).

The SBU says the official signed an agreement with a special export company to purchase a wholesale batch of artillery shells in December last year.

However, a more favourable contract for the supply was later signed with the same manufacturer – one that did not involve intermediaries. The SBU said this significantly shortened the delivery time and reduced the cost of the products.

According to the SBU, the defense official extended the original – more expensive – contract and funds totalling 1.5 billion Ukrainian hryvnia ($40 million) were transferred to the accounts of an affiliated foreign intermediary firm.

The SBU says it has found documents confirming the illegal activity. The official faces up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said it was taking measures to try to recover the funds.

According to the Head of the Press and Information Department of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, Illarion Pavliuk, the contract was one in which payment was made, but no deliveries had taken place. As a result, he said lawyers were looking at options to terminate the contract and recover the funds.

In September, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky fired his Defence Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, citing the need for “new approaches” amid a number of corruption scandals involving Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense.

Rustem Umerov, the former people’s deputy of Ukraine, was appointed as his replacement.

The following month, CNN reported that the US was increasingly urging Ukraine to do more to combat governmental corruption. Officials said Washington had issued several notices to Kyiv indicating that certain kinds of US economic aid will be linked to Ukraine’s progress in reforming its institutions.

Zelensky sought to address concerns about corruption when he travelled to Washington DC and met US Senators this month. The issue has also become more pressing after the EU agreed to open membership talks with Ukraine.


CNN’s Natasha BertrandAlex Marquardt, Josh Pennington, Jonny Hallam and Tim Lister contributed reporting.

KSL 5 TV Live

World News

A small town in France dedicated a memorial to a crew of a B-17 Bomber killed during World War II. ...

Alex Cabrero

Memorial dedication in France for Utah man killed during WWII

On Saturday, a small town in France dedicated a memorial to a crew of a B-17 Bomber killed during World War II. The plane was shut down 80 years ago to the day near the town. One of the soldiers honored was Utah resident 2nd Lt. John "Jack" Lundberg.

1 day ago

Palestinians search for casualties at the site of Israeli strikes on houses in Gaza City on June 22...

Eyad Kourdi and Ibrahim Dahman, CNN

More than 50 people killed or missing in Israeli strikes on central Gaza, local officials say

52 people have been killed or left missing in Israeli strikes near Gaza city on Saturday, according to the Hamas-controlled Government Media Office (GMO).

1 day ago

Country officials said dozens of Hajj pilgrims have died as Mecca temperatures hit 120F, and seen h...

Lauren Kent, Caroline Faraj and Hande Atay Alam, CNN

Hundreds of Hajj pilgrims die as Mecca temperatures hit 120 Fahrenheit

More than 300 people have died and thousands have been treated for heatstroke while performing the annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca amid extreme temperatures.

3 days ago

In this handout photo, Just Stop Oil protesters sit after spraying an orange substance on Stoneheng...

Brian Melley

Climate protesters arrested over spraying orange paint on Stonehenge monument

Two climate protesters who sprayed orange paint on the ancient Stonehenge monument in southern England were arrested Wednesday.

4 days ago

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - JUNE 19: People watch a television broadcast reporting a meeting between North...

Kim Tong-Hyung

Russia and North Korea sign partnership deal that appears to be the strongest since the Cold War

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have signed a new partnership that includes a vow of mutual aid if either country faces “aggression.”

4 days ago

Evan Gershkovich looks out from a defendants' box before a hearing at the Moscow City Court in Mosc...

Sergey Gudkov and Kathleen Magramo, CNN

Russia will hold Evan Gershkovich’s espionage trial behind closed doors, state media reports

American journalist Evan Gershkovich will stand trial behind closed doors in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg starting on June 26, state-run news agency TASS reported Monday, citing the court’s press service.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Ukraine arrests senior Defense Ministry official accused of embezzling $40 million