Ukraine Reveals $32 Billion Weapons Embezzlement

KIEV, Ukraine -- From 1992 to 1997 illegal weapons traders exported arms and military property from Ukraine worth $32 billion, the LigaBusinessInform web site quoted MP Sergei Sinchenko as saying.

Ukrainian built tank

Sinchenko, who heads a parliamentary commission investigating illegal arms deals, said that about 114 companies took part in the embezzlement of $89 billion of the Soviet military legacy that was enough to supply an army of 10 million men.

Due to the imperfect nature of the former Soviet republic’s new legislation, a considerable amount of the weapons were sold abroad. Remarkably, only 20 percent of the deals were carried out by companies that were officially authorized by the government; the rest of the firms were so-called shadow structures.

Sinchenko also reported that the investigation has revealed that 250 items of nuclear equipment had somehow been lost while being transported to Russia. The former government said the nuclear weapons handed over to Russia cost $450 million, while his commission named a sum of $1.5 billion.

Sincehnko concluded that there was only man in Ukraine who was aware of all the post-Soviet arms deals — ex-chairman of National Security and Defense Council Vladimir Gorbulin. However, he did not accuse the former official of any criminal activities.

Source: MosNews