Journalists have established how the prices for military uniforms for the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine in 2022 increased three times during delivery.
Source: investigation by ZN.UA
Details: Back in summer 2022 the Ukrainian manufacturers were alarmed because the Ukrainian Defence Ministry did not announce the procurement of winter uniforms for soldiers on time, since delivering the fabric from Asia and sewing the uniforms takes months. The investigators believe these months were lost through the fault of the Defence Ministry and other officials who failed to solve problematic issues on time.
In the autumn of 2022 the Ukraine’s Defence Ministry signed a contract with the Turkish firm Vector avia hava araçlari for the supply of winter clothes for the troops. According to sources, this firm only exported 233,000 jackets worth US$20 million and 202,000 trousers worth US$13 million in October-December.
The price was acceptable for winter clothes. The Turkish jackets cost US$86 each. Another procurer from Bulgaria was transporting US$95 jackets from China for the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.
The problem was that it was summer jackets, not winter ones that were being exported from Türkiye.
Reportedly, the average weight of Chinese jackets was two kilograms, and Turkish ones weigh 1.1 kg each. It is very similar to the difference between a summer jacket and a warm winter jacket.
ZN.UA has access to accompanying documents for one of the batches of clothing from Vector avia. The documents show how 4,900 jackets with a total cost of US$142,000 turned into 4,900 jackets worth US$421,000. On the way from Turkish to Ukrainian customs, the jackets have magically transformed from "camouflage jackets" into "winter windproof" ones and gained financial weight as their price rose from US$29 to US$86 apiece.
The margin remained with the Turkish farm Vector avia hava araçlari which belongs to Roman Pletniov, a Ukrainian from the city of Zaporizhzhia.
Criminal proceedings concerning these clothes were opened in the court register. The Kyiv Science and Research Institute of Judicial Expertise established that "the wind- and waterproof winter jackets and wind- and waterproof winter trousers supplied in accordance with contract VV2022-M1908 cannot be used for their intended purpose".
And winter clothing that was being transported to Ukraine according to the VV2022-M1708 contract has crossed the border in Moldova with the cost of US$27,500 for the batch and the border in Ukraine – with the sum of US$367,500 written in the document. Moreover, the jackets from this batch are already being sold on OLX.
Background: In June, Viacheslav Shapovalov, former Deputy Minister of Defence, and Bohdan Khmelnytskyi, former head of the Department of State Procurements of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, were served with a new notice of suspicion from the Security Service of Ukraine, mainly due to the procurement of low-quality winter clothing abroad.