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Corruption in Ukraine's military harms national defense, - media

Source : 112 Ukraine

Russia has been affecting Ukraine's Defense Ministry via loyal officials, The Washington Times wrote in the article soon after the recent tragedy in central Ukraine, where U.S. Air National Guard's pilot deceased
21:06, 25 October 2018

Su-27 Flanker of Ukraine's Air Force, Fairford, UK, 2017
Ministry of Defense of Ukraine

Corruption in Ukraine's Armed Forces is a headache for the country's national security; besides, the Kremlin has been influencing the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, using the loyal officials as its agents. This is the major message of the recent article by The Washington Times; it appeared after the disaster that took place during Clear Sky drills. As is known, Ukrainian and U.S. pilots lost their lives in the Sukhoi Su-27 jet crash.

'According to the UNIAN Information Agency “since one of the dead pilots of the aircraft was a member of the U.S. National Guard, the U.S. side is interested in taking part in the investigation.” However, the same agency reported that “according to Ukrainian legislation, they [U.S. National Guard experts] cannot be involved in the investigation.” The Ukrainians have suggested the possibility of creating a special group to handle the inquiry, the outlet wrote quoting on the course of the investigation.

'Because of corruption and politics, Ukrainian investigations can last for years. The Malaysia Airlines flight MH-117 was shot down over the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014, killing all 298 people onboard. The investigation is still going on more than four years later; there was also a special group formed for this incident. Knowing that Ukraine is swamped in corruption, It is dubious to rely on the Ukrainian authorities regarding the investigation into the SU-27 crash which killed the American pilot. Ukraine has a controversial history in terms of military operations. Just two weeks ago Reuters reported that “Ukrainian authorities suspect sabotage lay behind explosions that tore through an ammunition depot in the early hours, sending fireballs into the sky and causing more than 12,000 people to be evacuated.” One of the largest and most secure military weapons storage facilities had just exploded. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that such an explosion would deprive Ukraine of much-needed ammunition and may weaken the Ukrainian army before the upcoming presidential elections. So the question becomes, was sabotage behind the Su 27 crash as well?' The Washington Times wonders.

Related: U.S. Air Force confirms death of American pilot in Ukraine's Su-27 crash

Then, the author quoted Mykola Malomuzh, the retired General of the Ukrainian Army. He assumes Russia carefully placed its agents in the high offices in Ukraine's Defense Ministry; some Russian citizens even served as defense ministers. 'The General thinks Ukraine was deprived of heavy missiles during its “Russian Spring” for a reason. Malomuzh thinks that Russia has been using its agents of influence who are positioned in unthinkable levels inside the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine; several Russian citizens even were appointed to positions of Minister of Defense. Russia always wanted Scud missiles out Ukraine, to be removed or dislocated from the Eastern parts of the country away from the Russian border, he says. Russia wanted to remove all military fortifications from the east of Ukraine (currently occupied by pro-Russian forces). “They wanted no military fortifications there at all,” Malomuzh declared. Russia tracked this removal very rigorously and categorically imposed restrictions not to position military systems closer to the Russian border, otherwise “this would be considered as an act of aggression of Ukraine towards Russia.” But how did Russia execute such a massive operation? Malomuzh believes the Russian citizenship of the Ministers of Defense Mr. Dmitriy Salamatin and Mr. Pavlo Lebedyev, had something to do with it,' the author wrote.

He concluded that 'it is very important for US Air Force experts to closely monitor and participate in the SU-27 investigation, even though there are certain laws in Ukraine that prevent US experts from getting full access. The Ukrainian government has no moral authority to restrict access for the US experts, especially taking into consideration the bad history of Russian penetration into the Ukrainian army since Soviet times.'

Related: Name of second pilot in Ukrainian Su-27 crash revealed
Related: Crash of Ukraine's Su-27 - Prosecutor’s office question more than 40 people

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