In the latest reinforcement of the country’s reputation for rampant corruption, Ukraine’s SBU intelligence agency says it has uncovered a $40 million embezzlement scheme in which a defense firm agreed to supply the country’s army with 100,000 mortar rounds — but never delivered even one.
No names have been named yet. However, the shadow of guilt extends beyond officials at the firm, Lviv Arsenal, to include current and former senior Ukraine Defense Ministry officials, the SBU said in a statement on Saturday. Five individuals have been formally charged so far, and The Guardian reports that two are from the defense ministry. At least one was said to be caught trying to flee Ukraine; all face up to 12 years in prison.