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One of Ukraine’s Financial Scams Comes Around To Bite Them in the Butt

Financial scandals are not news in Ukraine, but yesterday, according to RT, Ukrainska Pravda (UP) reported on a new, though somewhat belated, discovery of embezzlement, as $176.5 million allocated for defense fortifications in the Kharkiv Oblast—yet when the Russian army advanced over 60 miles through the region/oblast in three days, many of the fortifications simply were not there. Military and civilian authorities in Ukraine’s Kharkiv Region paid millions of dollars to fake companies for the supply of non-existent building materials. Russian forces are, as of yesterday, fighting at Lyptsi, about 20 km from the outskirts of Kharkiv city.

Ukrainian anti-corruption activist Martina Boguslavets explained that Kharkiv’s Department of Housing and Communal Services and its Regional Military Administration had been given 7 billion hryvnias ($176.5 million) to build fortifications to hold back Russia’s advance. She claimed that much of the money was embezzled. For example, no-bid contracts for the supply of wood, worth 270 million hryvnias ($6.8 million), were signed with five companies that were not even set up until the contracts were announced. She wrote: “Moreover, the owners of these firms do not resemble successful businessmen and businesswomen. They have dozens of court cases, from whiskey theft to domestic violence against a husband and mother; some of them are deprived of parental rights and have had enforcement proceedings for bank loans.”

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