Reznikov supports deputy’s resignation amid army food procurement violations probe

Reznikov supports deputy’s resignation amid army food procurement violations probe

Ukrinform
Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov supported the request of Vyacheslav Shapovalov to be dismissed from the post of Deputy Minister of Defense, submitting a corresponding motion to the Cabinet of Ministers.

That’s according to the ministry’s press service, Ukrinform reports.

Shapovalov, who was responsible for the rear support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, asked to be fired in order not to create threats to stable supplies as a result of the campaign of accusations related to the procurement of food services.

"Despite the fact that the announced accusations are unfounded and groundless, Vyacheslav Shapovalov's statement of dismissal is a worthy act in the traditions of European and democratic politics, a demonstration that the interests of defense are higher than any offices or chairs. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine believes that such a step will preserve public trust and that of international partners, and ensure objectivity during additional clarifications and possible inquiries. This is the philosophy that the team of the Ministry of Defense professes," the statement reads.

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From the moment of his appointment, Shapovalov "worked with maximum responsibility wherever problems have been accumulating for decades. However, despite fierce resistance, he managed not only to establish the current work in the critical conditions of war as the army size increased by magnitudes. He also managed to implement a number of reforms," emphasized in the Ministry of Defense.

As noted in the Ministry, the food procurement field in the Armed Forces was demonopolized, and "the multibillion-dollar market became more transparent and stress-resistant." Monopolies in the fuel and lubricant supply sector were destroyed, where dependence on individual items from a single supplier was total. Now this vulnerability is gone."

A quarter of a million body armor pieces and more than 150,000 helmets are in the Army stock at the moment. "It was not only possible to fully provide for our soldiers but also to form a margin of safety, a part of which is a product of powerful Ukrainian manufacturers. Hundreds of thousands of winter and summer uniforms and other gear are in stock. After overcoming the critical stage, when we were forced to import a significant amount of goods, systematic efforts are being made to increase the capacities of domestic manufacturers," the ministry said.

As part of the procurement reform of the Ministry of Defense, an agency was created to ensure the needs of the rear, the ministry reminded.

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As reported, Shapovalov intensified the work on organizing the assets of the Ministry of Defense last winter. Together with the State Cadastre, powerful steps have been taken to digitize information on land plots and real estate. Together with the legal department, thousands of hectares of land and buildings stolen from the defense agency were returned to its ownership. This process has become systemic.

The Ministry of Defense is grateful to Shapovalov for his team-oriented and efficient work, and is sure that the information waves will subside and justice will be secured. The Ministry of Defense adheres to the principle of zero tolerance for corruption, respects democratic control, and will ensure absolute transparency for any audits by authorized bodies, the Ministry of Defense emphasized.

As reported, the Dzerkalo Tyzhnia outlet published an investigative article claiming the prices for the purchase of food and food services for the military in the MoD contract are two to three times above retail prices. In particular, the piece stated the following: "The Ministry of Defense contracted eggs for UAH 17 per piece, while the retail price in Kyiv stores is now about UAH 7 per piece." The Ministry said the data on the content of procurement contracts circulated in mass media bear signs of deliberate manipulation and mislead the audience.

Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov noted that eight companies supply products for the Armed Forces, and promised to provide lawmakers with all contracts and detailed comments on the issue of providing food for the troops.

The Ministry of Defense also stated that they are preparing paperwork for the SBU in order for the agency to run investigation into the spread of knowingly false information to the detriment of defense interests in a special period.

Detectives with the National Anti-corruption Bureau said they were investigating Defense Ministry procurement as part of their own criminal probe.


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