Pentagon Inspector General Launches 50+ Probes into Military Supplies Scandal Involving Ukraine

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 02/24/2024
As of this week, the inspector general of the Pentagon has started over 50 probes over the purported "theft, fraud or corruption, and diversion" of military supplies to Ukraine. Soon after help started to arrive in Kiev, there were nearly instant accusations of bribery, and the inspector general said that additional inquiries would probably come.

As per Bloomberg, Inspector General Robert Storch said at a Thursday briefing that there are currently no verified complaints, but that might change in the future. He said that "given the number and speed" of weapons being sent to Ukraine, further inquiries into the mishandling or theft of US property would be launched soon.

In one instance, which Storch brought to light, there were unidentified goods that arrived in Poland as part of a larger consignment of weaponry, but they vanished from a shipping manifest when they were transferred into Ukraine in June. Although Storch's office reported on the matter of the missing equipment last year, the inspector did not clarify at the time whether the goods were stolen or misplaced. Rather, his agency reported that throughout the transfer procedure, Pentagon employees "did not have adequate visibility and responsibility of all kinds of equipment."

Thus far, Storch's reports have not shown any blatant illegal activity. But he has never before stated that his agency is looking into possible examples of “procurement fraud, product substitution, theft, fraud or corruption, and diversion” before Thursday's declaration.

The US has given Kiev military, economic, and humanitarian assistance totaling over $113 billion in the two years since Russia's military campaign in Ukraine started. Of that sum, almost $45 billion has gone on arming and supplying Kiev's soldiers with weaponry and other military hardware.

According to a CBS News story from the summer of 2022, only around thirty percent of the weaponry that the West delivered to Ukraine ended up on the front lines. At around the same time, Middle Eastern arms bazaars were displaying armaments meant for Ukraine, according to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.

Since then, Storch's agency has sent over twenty individuals to follow US weaponry shipments into Ukraine. But accusations of corruption have persisted, with the bribery sometimes starting even before supplies reach the nation. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said last month that a significant corruption ring inside the nation's Defense Ministry had been busted. Five suspects tried to steal 1.5 billion hryvnia, or about $39.6 million, in state money that were supposed to be used to buy mortar shells, according to the SBU.

In September, suspicions of fraud led to the dismissal of Aleksey Reznikov, the minister of defense for Ukraine. Rustem Umerov, his successor, said in January that an audit had uncovered $262 million in charges associated with theft in the acquisition of weaponry.


Get latest news delivered daily!

We will send you breaking news right to your inbox

© 2024 Wayne Dupree, Privacy Policy