Olena Sotnyk: Even our Western partners are talking about corruption in “Ukroboronprom”

“For Samopomich, this is no surprise, after all, we have been insisting for three years that there is corruption in “Ukroboronprom”, that this is an absolutely non-transparent structure.”

It should be noted that in 2016, Olena Sotnyk, along with other representatives of Samopomich, prepared a large-scale report in the field of security and defence based on the results of parliamentary control. Deputies of the political forces travelled along the entire line of contact and communicated with the military, visited military units. And what they saw was hugely in contrast to the positive reports that we often hear from many officials. This is a 51-page-long report. It concerns the equipment of the military, the issue of a ghost hospital, which received huge funds from the American army, and the issues of non-lethal weapons, vehicles and other things. The document was sent to the Ministry of Defence, presented to the public; a press conference was convened regarding this issue, yet there was no reaction on the part of the authorities.

Although, according to Olena Sotnyk, the fame of corruption in the Ukrainian defence industry has gone far beyond the borders of the country: “When we start talking about military cooperation, even our Western partners immediately start referring to the corruption in “Ukroboronprom” saying we need to eliminate it first and then start such conversations.”

According to Olena, people fail to understand the real scale of abuses in the army.

“What we have become aware of is just a small scheme with ammunition, but just imagine how much money is made on fuel, technical support, and weapons production. All this must be investigated, and there should be a provisional investigatory commission doing this.”

Samopomich representative reckons that demonstrative statements about impeachment on the part of certain political forces are empty words.

“We understand that the impeachment procedure is spelt out in the Constitution in such a way that, given the current balance of forces in the parliament, it will be impossible to vote for impeachment. If the Petro Poroshenko Bloc does not vote, then we will not be able to even go through the first stage of the prescribed procedure. Secondly, we have a controlled Constitutional Court, and thirdly, we have an absolutely dependent on the President Prosecutor General’s Office. The impeachment procedure is unrealistic; it is nothing more than a self-promotional move of certain candidates.”

As noted by Olena Sotnyk, the only way out is the creation of a provisional investigatory commission. Because a provisional investigatory commission is at least an instrument of control which will provide an opportunity to demand documents, invite all those involved for questioning. Will the authorities agree to this? Olena Sotnyk has doubts.

“We understand that the Speaker himself will block the introduction of this decision into the hall. Because it is obvious that he cooperates with the coalition as with the majority in the hall, and such a provisional investigatory commission is not profitable for the coalition. After all, we can see what happens in relation to other provisional investigatory commissions.”

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