In light of the recent case regarding corruption in the Ukranian defense sector, president Petro Poroshenko decided to fire Defense deputy secretary Oleg Gladkovsky after the latter’s name was featured in the investigation.
During a meeting at the Regional Development Council located in Mykolaiv, Poroshenko said that the decision was definitely not a verdict handed by the court; rather, it was his decision, taking into account his responsibility to uphold the unbiasedness and fairness of such an objective investigation.
This happened just a few days after Ihor, Gladkovsky’s son, was found to have been involved in grand-scale embezzlement plans which involved illegal shipping of Russian military equipment to the country. The investigation, which was revealed by Ukranian media outlet Bihus.info, detailed Ihor’s acquisition of Russian military equipment back in 2015. These equipment were then purchased by Ukroboronprom with the company’s consent.
According to allegations, Ihor turned to Oleg for help, while the transactions and procurement were left to his partners, Andriy Rohoza and Vitaly Zhukov. This embezzlement scheme allowed them to collect up to $9 million US dollars (250 million hryvnias) which has then undergone various methods of money laundering, according to Bihus.info.
In the Mykolaiv meeting, Poroshenko urged the NABU (National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine) to investigate several high profiles and to punish anyone who’s found guilty. He’s also given Oleksandr Turchynov, the current National Security and Defense Council secretary, the task of executing an NSDC session come March 6 with the aim of reforming Ukroboronprom.
There were a lot of speculations regarding the possible damage which could be brought on by any Poroshenko ally involved in a high-profile scandal, specifying that such scandals could affect the president’s dream of remaining in position for yet another term.
French independent journalist Sébastien Gobert stated that it’s still not certain how these kinds of investigation and scandals can affect Poroshenko’s reputation and his chances of getting reelected. After all, such cases involving high-profile officials have already been rampant for a long time. This is especially true in the defense industry, where around 80% of the overall tenders were made secret these past few years.
Lesya Ivanova, the author of Bihus.info’s investigations, mentioned that the existence of corruption in the defense industry, particularly in times when the country is at war, has proven itself to be quite detrimental to its overall integrity, and this is something that’s been important for a very long time. Unfortunately, Ukranian authorities have shown “minimal reactions” despite these exposed cases.
She also added that the things Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko said about them already on the finish line with their investigations all sound like a lie. She told Hromadske on March 3 that Gladkovsky’s last name wasn’t featured in said investigation, and it could only mean that they haven’t moved as high up as to his name, or they simply decided to turn a blind eye to it.
“If they really are done with this, then why am I not seeing any law enforcement body conducting arrests or dropping charges ever since the publication of our investigation?”, added Ivanova.