Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov spoke at the Councilʼs committee on food procurement for the military. Hereʼs what he said

Anhelina Sheremet

Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov spoke at the Verkhovna Rada committee on anti-corruption policy regarding the procurement of food for the military.

Peopleʼs deputies Viktoriya Syumar ("European Solidarity") and Yaroslav Yurchyshyn ("Voice") announced this.

Syumar writes that Reznikov "recognized mistakes" in the items on the food list — thatʼs why Deputy Defense Minister Vʼyacheslav Shapovalov was fired. Also, according to her, Reznikov assured that he appealed to the Security Service of Ukraine to check not the journalists who brought up the topic of purchases at possibly inflated prices, but purely the employees of the Ministry of Defense, who were sources of information. The Ministry is also thinking about another procurement system. The project is expected in 4-5 months.

Speech by the Minister of Defense Oleksiy Reznikov at the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Anti-corruption Policy regarding food procurement for the military, January 24, 2022.

Yurchyshyn said that, according to Reznikov, Bohdan Khmelnytskyi, who was responsible for procurement, was removed from his post in December 2022 and dismissed on January 20, 2023. And already on January 24, the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption announced that it had initiated an official investigation into Khmelnytskyi.

Currently, the military food contracts for 2023 are not yet in place, and because there were inaccuracies in the contracts, they are being reviewed and examined. In addition, according to Yurchyshyn, the State Audit Service is currently checking the sphere of procurement (at the request of the minister) and plans to check the Chamber of Accounts (at the request of the head of the committee Anastasia Radina).

  • On January 21, journalists accused the Ministry of Defense of purchasing food products at several times inflated prices. The article stated that prices for products are three times higher than retail prices in Kyiv supermarkets. The agreement worth 13.16 billion hryvnias was concluded on December 23, 2022. It is about providing food to military units stationed in Poltava, Sumy, Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv and Cherkasy regions.
  • On January 23, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov personally responded to these criticisms, in particular, he explained that the Ministry of Defense does not buy individual products, but a complex service — food supply. The Minister explained that the prices of the eight suppliers are different, as well as in supermarket chains, because each one has its own specialization and own production of a certain group of goods. Product prices are analyzed by special expert institutions.
  • On January 24, it became known that Deputy Minister of Defense Vyacheslav Shapovalov, who was responsible for the rear support of the Armed Forces, resigned.