1 of 2 | Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced Friday that he has fired officials responsible for military recruitment amidst corruption allegations in recruitment practices. File Photo by Ukrainian President Press Office/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced Friday that military officials in charge of recruitment would be replaced with wounded war veterans after allegations of corruption in recruitment.
On Friday, the National Security and Defense Council met to assess the results of an investigation into corruption allegations. The council said that combat officers would have to be checked by the SBU, Ukraine's intelligence service, to take positions on military commissions.
"The Prosecutor General's Office, together with the NACP and the SBI [State Bureau of Investigation], is still recommended to take additional measures to counteract the commission of corruption offenses," the Presidential Office said of the meeting.
Last week Zelensky denounced corruption after a military official charged with recruitment in the Odessa administrative region, Yevhen Borisov, was found to have a $5 million in assets in Spain.
Borisov's mother allegedly registered a residence worth at least $3 million and a Mercedes worth about $100,000, along with other properties.
"Corruption in military recruiting will be eliminated. The heads of all regional recruitment centers will be fired and replaced by brave warriors who have lost their health on the frontlines but maintained their dignity. The decision was approved at today's NSDC [National Security and Defense Council] meeting," Zelensky tweeted Friday.
"In total, there are already 112 criminal proceedings against officials of the territorial recruitment centers, 33 suspects. Regional, city and district "military commissars," employees of the military medical commissions, other official's abuses in different regions: Donetsk, Poltava, Vinnytsia, Odessa, Kyiv, Lviv. Some took cash, some took cryptocurrency -- that's the only difference," Zelensky said in a short clip posted along with his tweet.
"The cynicism is the same everywhere. Illegal enrichment, legalization of illegally obtained funds, illegal benefit, illegal transportation of personas liable for military service across the border," Zelensky continued.
Separately, an investigation by the Ukrainian website ZN.ua found that the Ministry of Defense had significantly overpaid for military clothing, including summer camouflage and winter coats, in one case paying $421,000 for jackets that should have cost about $142,000.
"Our decisions are the following. We are dismissing all regional 'military commissars.' This system should be run by people who know exactly what war is and why cynicism and bribery during war is treason," Zelensky said.
"Instead, soldiers who have experienced the front or who cannot be in the trenches because they have lost their health, lost their limbs, but have preserved their dignity and do not have cynicism, are the ones who can be entrusted with this system of recruitment," Zelensky said.