Ukraine’s regional army chiefs bought luxury cars and properties in Spain while their countrymen died on the frontlines, a former advisor to the Ukrainian Parliament has exclusively told Daily Express US.
This led to the blanket firing of Ukraine’s regional military recruitment chiefs by President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier today, according to Mykola Volkivskyi.
Zelensky said a review of the recruitment centres revealed abuses ranging from illegal enrichment to helping eligible military-age men flee the country to avoid military service.
Speaking to Daily Express US, Volkivskyi – who was an advisor to the chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament’s Commission between 2014 and 2021 – said the move was widely “expected”.
He said: “The most outrageous thing was that certain military commissars began to enrich themselves and buy new real estate abroad – particularly in Spain – and expensive luxury cars from the beginning of the war. It outraged Ukrainian society.”
He claimed that this all occurred while “Ukrainian soldiers were dying at the front” and that there were “constant problems” with many officials.
Zelensky – via his top general Valery Zaluzhny – will implement a system where wounded soldiers who were no longer combat effective would instead run the regional military recruitment centres, according to Mr Volkivskyi.
He said: “The idea began to spread among Ukrainians that it would be good to send physically healthy military commissariat employees to the front line and that their positions should be filled by wounded soldiers who were physically unable to return to the army but could still carry out their professional duties in the military commissariat.”
He added the change should help “overcome any corruption risks” associated with the job of deciding who serves in Ukraine’s Armed Forces.
Speaking on the shock move, Zelensky said in a statement: “This system should be run by people who know exactly what war is and why cynicism and bribery during war is treason.”
Ukraine has been struggling to stamp out endemic corruption as it looks towards the West and this isn’t the first time officials have been fired for the offense.
Earlier this year, nine top officials were sacked after they were accused of taking bribes and vacationing in Spain and France during wartime.
The EU, which Ukraine aims to join, has praised reforms in the country but warned that anti-corruption measures were not being carried out fast enough.